According to Stroud News and Journal, Middlesbrough are keeping tabs on Forest Green Rovers midfielder Charlie Cooper.
Cooper attracted attention from the Championship side in the run up to the January transfer window, and it is looking increasingly likely that a deal may be agreed before the 31st January deadline.
The central-midfielder was born just five miles away from Middlesbrough in Stockton-On-Tees and is familiar with the North-East area. His father was also a former-Hartlepool United player in the 1990s.
The 20-year old has played every single game so far this season for Rovers, who currently sit in 22nd place in League Two. He originally impressed on loan at Forest Green, before signing a permanent deal from Birmingham City in 2017. In his first season for the club, he managed to help the Gloucestershire club gain promotion from the National League.
According to former Birmingham academy coach Steve Spooner, “Charlie is like the conductor of the orchestra; he sets the tone.” He said in an interview with Birmingham’s official website.
“He’s learnt how to slow games down and speed games up. His range of passing has improved, as well as his goal scoring. And I think there is more to come from him in that area.”
In terms of goal scoring, Cooper managed to get his name on the score sheet for the first time in his career this season. Forest Green managed a spectacular 4-3 win over Yeovil Town, in which the Middlesbrough-linked midfielder scored his side’s third goal.
He can play in a number of positions, and his versatility could be useful for Middlesbrough. He is often deployed as a central-midfielder, but can also play in a more defensive role, or on the left or right wings.