Middlesbrough have opened talks with Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert following his departure by Barcelona.

The club’s chief executive Keith Lamb admitted the club’s interest, but added: “Any potential deal is at a very early stage.”

Kluivert was one of four Dutch players released by Barca and he has admitted that he would like to play in the Premiership.

Lamb added: “We have made it well known that we are in the hunt for quality strikers and Kluivert falls into that bracket.

“He is the sort of player that would excite the fans and fill the stadium for what is an important season for the club.

‘We have started and we will try to move things forward in the near future.”