Middlesbrough said to be in hunt for Bernardo Espinosa

Sporting Gijon centre back Bernardo Espinosa has, today, confirmed he will be playing in the Premier League and Middlesbrough look set to capture the Colombian.

Middlesbrough said to be in hunt for Bernardo Espinosa
Bernardo Espinosa (left) chases Rafael Van der Vaart in a Copa del Rey match.

After Middlesbrough announced the signing of Viktor Fischer last month, Aitor Karanka and his backroom staff have been looking to strengthen their team ahead of the 2016/17 season.

One name linked with a move to Middlesbrough over recent weeks has been Bernardo Espinosa. The central defender, who has been at Sporting Gijon since 2013, is out of contract in Spain and today confirmed that he's nearing a move to the Premier League, as reported by local 'Boro paper The Gazette.

Espinosa coming to the Premier League

In a press conference, the 26-year-old Colombian centre back confirmed that he shall be playing his football in England's top tier next season.

'My decision is not to continue... I've always wanted to play (in England)... I'm going to the Premier League. '

Espinosa has been linked with a move to Watford and Bournemouth, who pipped Boro to promotion in 2015. However, reports suggest Espinosa is in advanced talks with Middlesbrough representatives about a move to Teeside.

Middlesbrough conceded the fewest goals in the Football League last season, but Aitor Karanka is clearly not resting on his laurels and wants to strengthen his backline before the season starts in August. Boro were in contact with Stade Reims about their defender Aissa Mandi earlier in the week but look to have walked away from negotiations.

Bernardo Espinosa celebrates. | Image source: elheraldo.co
Bernardo Espinosa celebrates. | Image source: elheraldo.co

Falcao? Surely not, just a rumour

In other, and more bizarre, transfer news - Radamel Falcao is the latest name rumoured to be joining Aitor Karanka's squad.

The rumour claims that Middlesbrough could be looking into signing the Colombian striker, who scored 52 goals in 68 games for Athletico Madrid, on loan for next season.

Falcao joined Monaco from Atletico Madrid in 2013 before suffering a serious knee injury ruling him out of the 2014 World Cup. His career has somewhat flopped after signing for Monaco and enduring unsuccessful loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea.

While the rumour seems farfetched, Aitor Karanka and Radamel Falcao are both represented by 'Super Agent' Jorge Mendes and Falcao was signed for Chelsea by Jose Mourinho, who Aitor Karanka worked under at Real Madrid.

While these factors mean that the transfer is not as far fetched as it looks on the face of it, Middlesbrough's wage structure would have to be near shattered to accommodate Falcao. He was reportedly earning £140,000 per week at Chelsea last season. This is almost certainly more double what the highest earner at Middlesbrough was receiving in the 2015/16 season.

Whatever the outcome of this transfer, it is very exciting for Middlesbrough fans. In the space of three years, they have gone from having Marvin Emnes, Curtis Main and Lukas Jutkiewitcz as their strikers, to having forwards such as Radamel Falcao, Lucas Perez and Fernando Llorente linked to a move to the Riverside.