MIDDLESBROUGH are confident of completing a deal for Anfernee Dijksteel ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline after tabling a third offer for the Charlton Athletic defender.

Having had two previous bids rejected at The Valley, Boro officials are understood to have tabled an improved offer of around £2m in an attempt to land Jonathan Woodgate’s main remaining summer target.

Boro’s recruitment team are confident their latest approach will be successful, and are hoping Dijksteel will be given permission to travel to the North-East within the next 24 hours in order to undergo a medical and finalise personal terms.

A 22-year-old Dutchman who joined Charlton’s academy three-and-a-half years ago, Dijksteel played at right-back as Charlton kicked off the Championship season with a 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

However, the Addicks’ financial position means there was always a good chance they would be unable to hold on to the defender, and Lee Bowyer was in a resigned mood when Dijksteel’s future was discussed after the final whistle at Ewood Park.

“I don’t know (whether he would be sold), if I’m honest,” said Bowyer. “There’s obviously interest in him, but he’s a good player, so we’ll have to see. We’ll have to see what happens now.

“Hopefully, no one was here watching him today because he’s done really well. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Boro are understood to have had members of their scouting team in attendance at Blackburn, although Dijksteel has been on their radar for more than a year.

Woodgate is keen to sign a recognised right-back as Jonny Howson has been filling the role throughout pre-season and also lined up in the position during Friday’s season-opener at Luton Town.

With Ryan Shotton now viewed primarily as a centre-half, Howson has moved to the full-back slot, but Woodgate would like an alternative option on the right of the back four. Dijksteel, who impressed as Charlton won promotion from League One last season, has entered the final year of his contract with the Addicks and has indicated he does not want to sign a new deal in South London.

Boro have also been linked with a possible move for former Sunderland full-back Alan Hutton, but the Scotsman’s status as a free agent means a deal does not have to be concluded ahead of Thursday afternoon’s deadline. Hutton could sign later in the month if Woodgate felt his defensive resources were inadequate.

Provided he signs ahead of the deadline, Dijksteel could be available for Saturday’s opening home game against Brentford, and on the opposite side of the back four, Woodgate is also hoping to have George Friend available for the visit of the Bees.

Friend was not involved in Friday’s 3-3 draw at Kenilworth Road, but having featured in last month’s Under-23s friendly at Bishop Auckland, the club captain is close to returning to full fitness following an injury lay-off.

Youngster Hayden Coulson has impressed at left-back in his absence, but having handed Friend the captain’s armband earlier this summer, Woodgate is in no doubt as to the 31-year-old’s importance.

“He’s doing really well and he should be fit for Brentford,” said Woodgate. “He’s a really important player for me, on and off the pitch. He’s our captain, he’s fantastic, he’ll be with this team all the way. He’s a great leader.”