According to TEAMtalk, Middlesbrough are one of a trio of Skybet Championship sides interested in 40-cap American striker Gyasi Zardes.

Zardes, who moved to current side Columbus Crew from LA Galaxy in late January 2018, scored 19 goals in 33 games last season.

This 19-goal haul, plus two assists, are part of 53 goals and 20 assists across the MLS competition for both the Crew and LA Galaxy.

Middlesbrough are currently settled in 5th place in the Sky Bet Championship table. They are four points adrift of Sheffield United in the second automatic promotion spot and five points safe from dropping out of the play-off places.

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Boro are currently led by seven-goal striker Britt Assombalonga and are a side desperately in need of a more offensive shot-in-the-arm such as that which Zardes could provide.

Their last Championship outing was a hard-fought 2-1 win over Birmingham City at St Andrews, their third league win in their last five games

With goals hard to come by for the Teessiders, and with three-goal forward Martin Brathwaite allowed to leave The Riverside on loan, the need for business in the January window could be vital.

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Currently valued at £3.15m by website Transfermarkt, the 6ft 2in, California-born Zardes is said to not only be interesting Middlesbrough but “also a number of clubs looking to land the international striker” say TEAMtalk.

As mentioned above, Boro won’t have it all their own way as fellow Championship sides Leeds United and Norwich are also said interested in landing the prolific striker in the summer.

A further caveat for the Tony Pulis’ side comes from the fact that they also face supposed interest from a trio of Premier League clubs in Crystal Palace and struggling duo Huddersfield and Fulham.

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.