According to French publication Le 10 Sport, Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne are hoping Middlesbrough make Harold Moukoudi’s loan deal permanent this summer.
The report states that Saint-Etienne are hoping for a ‘proposal in a few months’ from Middlesbrough and that the defender will be on sale again this summer.
Having arrived from Le Havre at the start of the season, Moukoudi has played just 11 times for Saint-Etienne before making the move to Middlesbrough in January.
He was given his debut against Brentford at the weekend in the 3-2 loss and kept his place in the side at Wigan on Tuesday night. The game ended 2-2 with Moukoudi scoring a spectacular yet unfortunate own goal.
Middlesbrough do not have an option in the player’s contract which allows them to make the deal permanent at the end of the season. But the French side are hoping Jonathan Woodgate is impressed enough by the Cameroon international to make an offer.
Their current injury crisis has meant Woodgate had to dip into the transfer market last month. Dani Ayala, Ryan Shotton, George Friend and Anfernee Dijksteel are all out receiving treatment, meaning Dael Fry was the only fit central defender at the club.
Midfielders Jonny Howson and Paddy McNair were utilised in a back three alongside Fry, but Moukoudi’s introduction has meant McNair has been able to be moved back into his preferred midfield role in the past two games.
According to Transfermarkt, Moukoudi’s market value is £3.6 million, and after the sale of goalkeeper Darren Randolph to West Ham recently, it is a figure Middlesbrough could realistically fork out.