Ray Parlour looks set to join Middlesbrough on a three-year deal. Arsenal are thought to have agreed a fee of around £1.7m for the former England international.

In recent days it had seemed unlikely that the midfielder would be leaving London, saying he would prefer a move to West Ham if he could not stay with the Gunners, but Boro have broken his resolve.

“He’s excited about playing for Middlesbrough in Europe next season and very happy to extend his career because he only had one year left at Arsenal,” said his agent Steve Kutner, who added Parlour would be taking a substantial pay cut to move to the Riverside.

Parlour had been pushed down the Highbury pecking order by a series of injuries in recent seasons and the arrival of Jose Antonio Reyes and said, “My priority at this stage of my career is to be in the starting XI every week.”

The midfielder will become the fourth in a series of recent high-profile signings at Boro, Mark Viduka, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Michael Reiziger all having moved to the Riverside over the summer. Chairman Steve Gibson will resume talks with Bolo Zenden this week, hoping to persuade the Dutchman to extend his stay at the club.