Middlesbrough are considering a double raid on North East rivals Sunderland this summer with Duncan Watmore and Lynden Gooch in their sights, TEAMtalk understands.
Forward Watmore is out of contract at the Stadium of Light in the summer and if the Black Cats don’t get promotion, they will be unable to offer him a contract of Championship level, which he is currently on.
Now, a Middlesbrough source has told TEAMtalk that a host of clubs are looking at taking the former England Under-21 star on a free transfer, but Boro hope the option of staying in the North East could appeal.
Boro also hope that the chance to remain in the area could help them in a bid to land Watmore’s team-mate Gooch, who has two years left on his current deal.
Again, without promotion, Sunderland would struggle to reject any sort of reasonable offer for the Californian-born wide-man.
Boro believe that Gooch could be an ideal addition, if he is available at the right price – and they will test Sunderland’s resolve, if they fail to secure promotion.
Boro have taken a number of players from Wearside to Teesside in recent years with the likes of Julio Arca, Paddy McNair and Williams Kokolo all making the move, whilst Grant Leadbitter moved the other way last season too.