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All the British sides continued their quest for the next round of the UEFACup by all winning in their recent group matches. Click here to find out the latest UEFA Cup odds.

Abel Xavier is close to agreeing a deal with Middlesbrough after serving a 12-month drugs ban.

The Portuguese defender was suspended after testing positive for a steroid dianabol following Boro’s Uefa Cup trip to Xanthi in September 2005.

Boro manager Gareth Southgate said: “He’s getting stronger and I think it’s a position where we need some cover.

“His experience and enthusiasm have been a real plus around the place. He’s popular with the guys here and he’s got a point to prove.”

Xavier, who joined Middlesbrough from Roma last year, became the first Premier League player to be banned for doping when he failed a drugs test.

All the British sides continued their quest for the next round of the UEFACup by all winning in their recent group matches. Click here to find out the latest UEFA Cup odds.

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