Middlesbrough are short in the centre-back department at present with only Dani Ayala, Dael Fry and Ryan Shotton recognised first teamers in this position.

Youngsters Nathan Wood and Sam Stubbs are both players coming through, and it is the latter that has been gaining interest from Scottish Premier League side Hamilton Academical, according to The Scottish Sun.

Hamilton boss Brian Rice is reportedly looking to sign a centre half before the close of the transfer window at 5pm on Thursday evening, and has identified Stubbs as a possible target.

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The Accies are pursuing a loan deal for the 20-year old, who spent last season out on loan at League Two strugglers Notts County.

Middlesbrough signed Stubbs from Wigan Athletic at the start of last season, and went on to play three times in the EFL trophy for the club before his loan move to the fourth tier.

It is likely the centre back will stay on at Middlesbrough in the case of emergency given the lack of depth in this area of the pitch, but Woodgate has stated that youngsters will be given the chance to leave the club on loan deals to aid their development and Stubbs could be one to make that move.

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The defender is the son of former-Everton defender Alan Stubbs, who is currently the Manager of Scottish Premier League side St. Mirren, and Sam’s dad Alan could play a part in persuading his son to move to the division, albeit moving to a league rival.

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook