MIDDLESBROUGH will be in line for a cash windfall provided Martin Braithwaite completes his controversial move to Barcelona, which should happen before the weekend.

Braithwaite is on the verge of joining the Catalan giants just seven months after making his permanent move to Leganes from the Riverside Stadium in a deal believed to worth around the £5m mark.

Barcelona are understood to have triggered his £17m buy-out figure after being given special permission to sign an ‘emergency forward’ from La Liga after injuries to Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez.

The Northern Echo understands that Middlesbrough will be due a chunk of that fee because there was a sell-on clause, the specifics are unconfirmed, inserted into the terms of the agreement when the Denmark international left Teesside last July.

That means Middlesbrough will be due a percentage of the fee and previous agreements have ranged anywhere upwards of five per cent.

Provided Braithwaite does complete his move to Camp Nou then whatever money comes Middlesbrough’s way will be a bonus at a time when the transfer window closed on January 31.

The 27-year-old, who moved to Middlesbrough from Toulouse originally for £9m in 2017, has been the subject of much debate in recent days after La Liga’s decision to grant Barcelona permission to sign a new forward outside of the window.

Leganes look set to lose their top scorer at a time when they are in the heat of a fight against relegation and they have been requesting for their own dispensation to sign a replacement. Barcelona were told they could only sign free agents or a forward in La Liga.

Things never worked out for Braithwaite at Middlesbrough even though his quality on the ball was there for all to see when he was named in the side.

Woodgate played him a couple of times in pre-season last summer after a season when Tony Pulis was left frustrated with the player’s desire to move on – believing he was not suited to the manager’s style.

“I like him as a player, I thought he was a really good player and I would have liked to keep him but he wanted to leave,” Woodgate told the media on Wednesday.  “What I’ll say about Martin is in that pre-season he came in and trained really well, fantastically well. In fact he played the Hartlepool game and went to Austria and trained really well. He’s a really talented player, it just didn’t click for him.

“The reason why he’s going is because they can only go for a certain player in La Liga. He has a buy-out, how many players have a buyout clause in La Liga? How many players are available? There are different players and Martin is available.”

Real Soceidad’s William Jose, Getafe’s Angel, Real Betis’ Loren Moron and Getafe’s former Middlesbrough striker Cristhian Stuani were all considered by Barcelona.  But Braithwaite, who has the same agent as Barca’s Frenkie de Jong, has emerged as the front-runner to head there even though he will not be able to play in the Champions League because he missed the registration period.

If Middlesbrough do get some extra money in then it could have an impact on what Woodgate can do in the summer, as he looks to build on whatever he has achieved come the end of his first campaign in charge.

He hopes to keep Middlesbrough clear of relegation trouble and he will take his side to third from bottom Barnsley on Saturday looking to extend the six-point cushion they hold over the relegation zone.

And Woodgate is tipping one of his own recent signings to hit the Premier League stage sooner rather than later, having been hugely impressed by what centre-back Harold Moukoudi offers his side.

The Saint-Etienne defender, on loan for the rest of the season, has looked strong and confident on the ball since his arrival even though they have suffered two defeats and a draw in his appearances so far.

Woodgate said: “Harold is a young lad, he has plenty ability, huge potential. Nothing has changed my opinion in his first few games, he can go and play in the Premier League. Someone will get their hands on him next year, people will look to buy him in the summer.”

The Middlesbrough boss wants his team to recapture their resilient streak in a bid to get their season back on track ahead at Barnsley.

Middlesbrough have not kept a clean sheet in the winless run that has now stretched to nine games without a win, seven in the league, and seen their advantage to the bottom three reduced to six points.

Middlesbrough can’t afford to slip up at Oakwell or the alarm bells will really start to ring when there will be 3,700 travelling fans making their way to South Yorkshire.

Woodgate is keen to see a return to the sort of form that earned him the manager of the month for December, a month when four straight wins lifted them clear of danger, after failing to beat struggling Luton and Wigan in their last two games.

“It was a very disappointing game (Luton), the way we played, that wasn’t us,” said Woodgate. “We have been better than that a lot of times and we look to bounce back against Barnsley. We have never been out of it. I never had that thought and I thought it would be tough.  “I said after Preston away on January 1 there would be rocky patches and there has been. We need to get back to keeping clean sheets. Those four wins were built on clean sheets and playing well. The more you keep the more you will win.

“Did I expect to get beat off Luton? No. Did I expect a better performance on the day? Yes. We need to build on a strong foundation at the back and try to get clean sheets. We have scored a few away from home but let’s get the foundations right first.”

Middlesbrough have welcomed George Friend and Ryan Shotton back into the fold in the last week following long lay-offs, and Anfernee Dijksteel has returned to training. Daniel Ayala and Dael Fry remain sidelined, though.