Middlesbrough to move for West Brom defender Chester

Pete O'Rourke
James Chester: Closing in on Villa switch

James Chester: Closing in on Villa switch

Middlesbrough are lining up a move for West Brom defender James Chester as they look to end their hunt for a new centre-back, sources have told TEAMtalk.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka has been searching for central defensive reinforcements all summer as he looks to finalise his squad ahead of the new Premier League season.

Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic was Middlesbrough’s top target, but the move fell through due to concerns over the Serbian’s fitness.

A number of defenders have been linked with Middlesbrough, but it appears Wales international Chester has emerged as Karanka’s priority.

Aston Villa have been linked with a move for Chester, but Middlesbrough are ready to offer the former Manchester United youngster the chance to stay in the Premier League.

Chester impressed for Wales at Euro 2016 as they reached the semi-finals, but he struggled to hold down a regular place in Tony Pulis’ West Brom side last season.

The 27-year-old made only nine starts in the Premier League last season following his arrival from Hull and he could be tempted away with the offer of regular first-team football at Middlesbrough.