Middlesbrough are said to be weighing up a move for Aston Villa youngster Jack Grealish before the transfer window closes on Wednesday, according to The Daily Mail.
The report claims that Boro are considering a trio of targets, with Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass and Paris Saint-Germain winger Jese also in the frame.
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Gaston Ramirez is rumoured to be on his way out of the Riverside Stadium having handed in a transfer request, but manager Aitor Karanka has already turned down a bid believed to be worth £12 million from Premier League champions Leicester City.
The Spaniard is keen to keep hold of his playmaker but has started to make contingency plans should he leave and sees Grealish as an ideal like-for-like replacement.
Having come up through the ranks at Villa Park, the 21-year-old rose to prominence with a dominating display in the Midlanders’ FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool in 2015.
Since then he has shown flashes of the brilliance that marked him out as a special talent, but seems to have made as many headlines off the pitch as on it.
However, his three goals and four assists this season constitute a reasonable return and many fans would be disappointed to see him go with so much of his career still ahead of him.