Middlesbrough to miss out on two right-back targets

Thomas Meunier and Aïssa Mandi have both been linked to Boro, but are on the verge of sealing moves elsewhere

Middlesbrough to miss out on two right-back targets
Thomas Meunier (L) and Aissa Mandi (R) are both on the move, but not to Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough's search for a new right back looks set to continue deeper into the transfer window with two reported targets on the verge of joining other clubs.

Algeria international Aïssa Mandi, heavily linked with Boro at the start of the summer, is set to join Real Betis while Belgium's Thomas Meunier is set to replace Gregory van der Wiel at PSG.

The end of Tomáš Kalas' loan spell on Teesside has left Aitor Karanka short on options at the right side of defence, though last season's first-choice Emilio Nsue will hope to be given an opportunity in the Premier League after playing a key role in promotion.

Karanka seeks backup for imperious defence

Tottenham Hotspur's final-day drubbing at the hands of relegated Newcastle United meant that Boro finished last season with the best defensive record in England, with just 31 goals conceded in the league.

But the arrival of Colombian centre-half Bernardo Espinosa earlier in the window evidences that Karanka is keen to bolster his options at the back, with little to no strength in depth in the defensive third.

Mandi touched down in Seville on Wednesday morning to complete his move to La Liga side Betis, while Meunier is reported to have left the Belgian training camp to finalise his move to French giants PSG.

Aissa Mandi photographed upon landing in Seville | Photo: @GolSurBetis_
Aissa Mandi photographed upon landing in Seville | Photo: @GolSurBetis_

Morelli signs on for two years

Meanwhile, Brazilian youngster João Morelli has renewed his contract at the club, with a new two-year deal agreed.

Morelli moved to Boro's under-21s last season from Ituano, as part of a partnership with the club owned by Middlesbrough legend Juninho, who retains close links to his former club.

The 20-year-old forward scored two goals in twelve outings in the U21 Premier League last season, also registering one assist.