The view from Valencia on Boro targets Negredo and Barragán

La Liga expert Víctor García gives his view on Middlesbrough's potential pair of signings from the Spanish side

The view from Valencia on Boro targets Negredo and Barragán
Barragán (L) and Negredo (R) line up for Valencia | Photo: Aitor Alcalde/Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Middlesbrough look set to take another significant step forward in their impressive summer of recruitment with deals reported to be close for Valencia pair Álvaro Negredo and Antonio Barragán.

It is not known what the details on either of these deals could be, but numerous sources around Spain and England have reported that both players could be on their way to the Riverside.

The Beast looks to make amends in England

English fans will be familiar with Negredo, nicknamed 'the Beast', from his time at Manchester City, but he spent just one season in the Premier League despite scoring 23 goals in all competitions.

Now 30, he has a point to prove in England as does Barragán, a 29-year-old right-back who made just one appearance as a youngster for Liverpool in a one-season stint on Merseyside a decade ago.

We spoke to VAVEL España's La Liga coordinator Víctor García to get the low-down on the pair, why Valencia may allow them to leave, and the Spanish view on Aitor Karanka's Spanish revolution.

'Negredo has not had the support of his coaches'

VAVEL: Negredo joined Valencia for a lot of money not very long ago (€27 million in 2015). Why are they willing to let him go so soon?

Víctor García: "Negredo has been a disappointment in Spain. He had many problems with [former manager] Nuno Espírito Santo. In Valencia the fans prefer Paco Alcácer after Nuno had problems with Negredo.

"Negredo's form has been disappointing, he has only scored nine goals in the last two seasons in La Liga. He has performed well below their level."

V: Why has Negredo not played well? Is it a question of ability, confidence or fitness?

VG: "He has not played well for several reasons. The first is that he has not had the confidence of his coaches, and the fans have not supported him. Physically he is not at his best either, so he no longer makes the Spain squad."

'A good player for some teams'

V: Do you think if he regains his fitness and confidence he can succeed again in England? He was very impressive when he first joined Manchester City.

VG: "Negredo is perhaps a second-tier striker, not a top-level forward like Agüero, Benzema or Lewandowski. I think at a team like Manchester City, Real Madrid or Chelsea, for example, they need a top-level forward. Negredo could be a good player for a team at a lower level."

Negredo has ten goals in 21 appearances for Spain | Photo: Focus Images
Negredo has ten goals in 21 appearances for Spain | Photo: Focus Images

V: Reports are also linking his team-mate Antonio Barragán with a move to Middlesbrough. Is he good enough for the Premier League?

VG: "Barragán could be very good for Boro. He can bring good performances, defensively speaking. For example, Àngel Rangel did well early on at Swansea City, Barragán can give a similar performance.

"He is like [former Real Madrid right-back] Álvaro Arbeloa. Clearly Arbeloa has much more experience but the way they play is similar."

'El Boro' will always be Karanka's team

V: First Víctor Valdés, now possibly Negredo and Barragán. Are Boro making the headlines in Spain?

VG: "In Spain, Boro will always be "Karanka's team", he gets a lot of attention because of his past at Real Madrid. Perhaps Boro will become like Swansea as I have said, but it's hard to know today. 

"The signing of Víctor Valdés is, in my opinion, a bit risky. His injury makes it difficult to judge his level of performance. For a few years now, it has not been great."

While Middlesbrough are certainly showing ambition with their transfer work, there is clearly an element of risk. 

If Karanka can unearth the Negredo of his first six months at Manchester City, Boro could have something special on their hands. If not, he could cut a frustrated figure at the Riverside.