MIDDLESBROUGH are closing in on a deal for Spanish attacker Emilio Nsue.

The 24-year-old is a free agent after being freed by Real Mallorca, for whom he played last season.

Nsue has represented Spain at junior level, but has since played internationally for Equatorial Guinea.

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Left-back James Husband arrived from Doncaster this week and made a solid debut in the friendly win at Hartlepool on Wednesday evening, earning praise from Aitor Karanka.

And Karanka’s search for a right back has also moved forward, with interest lodged in Aston Villa’s Matthew Lowton. It’s proved a problematic position to fill over the summer, but the 25-year-old has emerged as a target.

He signed for Villa from Sheffield United, but fell out of favour with boss Paul Lambert and is likely to move on during the transfer window.

The Riverside ranks have been further boosted this week with Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo arriving on loan.

He spent time at the Riverside last season and, while he didn’t feature at Victoria Park in midweek, he could play against Villareal at the Riverside on Saturday in Boro’s final pre-season friendly before next Saturday’s home opener with Birmingham.

“He has been training with us and started on Wednesday morning, but he wasn’t going to play at Hartlepool,’’ said Karanka.

“Kenneth is a player we love to have, because he came from Chelsea last season and played very well.

“He is a good player and he was happy to come here and fight for his position.

He is happy to have the opportunity to come back to us and play. He works hard.

“He is in good shape as he is very athletic. He is very professional.

“But he only trained for one day before the Hartlepool game, so we have to be careful with him.’’ While Omeruo arrives to bolster Karanka’s central defensive resources, Christian Burgess could be on his way back to Pools.

He spent last season on loan at Victoria Park and boss Colin Cooper is keen to get him back there.