EXCLUSIVE: Middlesbrough lead chase for highly-rated Everton winger

Josh Bowler TEAMtalk

Everton are set to hand highly-rated winger Josh Bowler a new long-term contract before sending him out on a season-long loan to the Championship.

And TEAMtalk understands that Jonathan Woodgate’s Middlesbrough are leading the chase for the 20-year-old, although Derby County, Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday are also very keen on the youngster.

Everton snapped up Bowler from Queens Park Rangers in 2017 and he has progressed through their youth system, and the club now want him to spend next season in the Championship before returning to Goodison Park.

New Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate is understood to be looking for at least a couple of wingers during this transfer window and Bowler, who can play on either flank, is a player they are very keen on.

Bowler, whose contract expires next summer, made three appearances for the U23 side in the EFL Trophy last season, scoring once and he helped David Unsworth’s side to Premier League 2 league and cup double.

He is yet to make a senior appearance for Everton, following his £4.25million, including add-ons, transfer from Queens Park Rangers, two years ago, but he has impressed for the U23s.

Meanwhile, Boro are thinking about cashing in on Paddy McNair, with Celtic interested.