Middlesbrough have joined the chase for Aston Villa striker Cameron Archer in January, TEAMtalk understands.
Boro boss Michael Carrick has made a new forward one of his top priorities when the transfer window reopens next month and Archer is understood to be number one on his wanted list.
A number of Championship clubs are chasing Archer’s signature in January and Boro are the latest to make enquiries about the 21-year-old’s availability.
Archer’s future has been the subject of conjecture after struggling for first-team opportunities at Villa so far this season.
The England under-21 international has made just four appearances from the substitutes bench. With Unai Emery in the market for attacking additions in January, it could push Archer further down the pecking order at Villa Park.
Archer enjoyed a successful loan spell at Preston North End in the second half of last season, scoring seven goals in 20 appearances.
Archer and his suitors are now waiting to see if Villa will sanction another loan move for the forward in January with much depending on whether Villa bring in a new striker in the New Year.
Villa have high hopes for Archer that he could become a first-team star in the future, having been handed a new long-term contract in August.
Boro are hoping to build on their bright start to life under Carrick by backing him in the transfer market next month to boost their bid for promotion to the Premier League.
The Riverside outfit are unbeaten in their last five games. They are currently 12th in the Championship table, but just four points away from the play-off places with more than half of the season still to go.