Middlesbrough to take young defender McGhee on loan

The Hearts youngster will move to Boro with the hope of securing a permanent deal at the newly promoted Premier League side

Middlesbrough to take young defender McGhee on loan
Soon-to-be Middlesbrough defender Jordan McGhee in action for Hearts | Photo: Evening Times

Middlesbrough are to secure the services of long-term target Jordan McGhee on a season-long loan deal from Hearts, according to The Northern Echo.

McGhee, 19, is due to put pen to paper early in the week, before joining up with his new teammates as the season gets underway.

The youngster will initially play with Paul Jenkins' under-21 side, but manager Aitor Karanka is taking him with the hope that he will develop into a first-team challenger.

Boro have first option on much-scouted McGhee

The defender will join on an initial season-long loan deal, but with his contract at Hearts expiring at the end of the 2016/17 season, Boro will have first option to take him on a permanent deal if he impresses this term.

Former Real Madrid defender Karanka is clearly a fan of the Scotland under-21 player, after trying to sign him at the end of the most recent January transfer window.

That move came to nothing as the window closed before a deal could be finalised but, with a number of English teams thought to be monitoring McGhee's progress, Boro have moved quickly to secure their man early in the summer window.

Defensive reinforcements needed at The Riverside

As a centre-back who can also play at full-back, Boro fans will be hoping McGhee can make the step up to first-team football with the defence currently short on back-up.

Emilio Nsue is currently the only senior right-back in the squad, while the departure of Chelsea loanee Tomáš Kalas at the end of his loan deal has meant that Boro are lacking strength in depth at the back.

Tomáš Kalas' departure from The Riverside has left Boro short on defensive options | Photo: Belfast Telegraph
Tomáš Kalas' departure from The Riverside has left Boro short on defensive options | Photo: Belfast Telegraph

The recent arrival of Colombian defender Bernardo Espinosa from Sporting Gijón has helped in that regard, with the 26-year-old joining Daniel AyalaBen Gibson and Dael Fry in the heart of defence.

McGhee looks to emulate teenage sensation Fry

McGhee will be hoping to follow in the footprints of teenage youth academy product Fry, who shone for the first team last season when an injury crisis thrust him into action with his name barely known amongst Boro fans.

A Man of the Match performance in his professional debut against Preston North End won him plaudits around Teesside, and he will be hoping to continue his progression in the Premier League.