Middlesbrough looking to sign Brazilian striker Afonso Alves from Heerenveen.
The Dutch FA dismissed AZ Alkmaar’s claims of a pre-contract agreement on Thursday, clearing the way for Boro to make a bid for the player.
Boro boss Gareth Southgate said: “It means he’s available now and it’s one of a couple of deals we’re trying to negotiate with clubs.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to do some business before the end of the month.”
Alves has attracted the attention of a number of clubs including Middlesbrough after scoring 35 goals last season.
The Brazilian went on strike at the beginning of the season after Heerenveen rejected bids for him.
Middlesbrough are also interesetd in signing Lyon striker Fred, but according to Southgate that deal now looks unlikely to proceed.
“He’s one of the players we’ve been looking at, but some deals are complicated. That seems one of the most complicated, so it’s unlikely if I’m going to be honest.
“Inevitably, things start to happen more towards the end as selling clubs realise they’re going to have to let players go or buying clubs realise they’re going to have to up their offers,” he told Middlesbrough’s official website.
“I hope to have a stronger squad this time next week than we have now, but if not then I know we have a strong team and we’re playing well right now.”