Middlesbrough and Heerenveen are close to sealing a deal for Afonso Alves and expect the Brazilian to sign later today.
“Our respective valuations are getting closer and we’re confident we can move it forward in the next 24 hours,” admitted Boro boss Gareth Southgate.
Alves’ move will represent a club record signing for Boro as he will cost at least £12million – smashing their previous highest deal which was £8.75million for Italian forward Massimo Maccarone.
The striker has been at the centre of a dispute in Holland with the Dutch Football Association’s overruling a claim by AZ Alkmaar that the player had agreed to join them.
Alves’ lawyer Pim de Vos believes the contract with AZ was not binding and may even have prevented him from joining Middlesbrough.
“For example, the club sent a letter to Middlesbrough to say Alves was the property of AZ,” explained de Vos.
“Middlesbrough could have been influenced and waived the transfer and this would be true for other clubs.
“In this case AZ, without good reason, have prevented or hindered him.”