MIDDLESBROUGH are close to agreeing a season-long loan deal for Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.

Bettinelli is understood to have agreed the switch from Craven Cottage, and it is hoped he will be available for Boro's opening Championship game at Watford on Friday evening.

The Teessiders are willing to pay a six-figure loan fee to secure the services of the 28-year-old for the whole of the campaign.

A product of Fulham's youth academy, Bettinelli has spent his entire career with the Cottagers, making a total of 120 senior appearances.

He made 14 Championship appearances last season as Scott Parker's side won promotion to the Premier League, but has been deemed surplus to requirements in South-West London.

His arrival would place a question mark over the future of Boro's two current senior goalkeepers, with at least one of Aynsley Pears and Dejan Stojanovic likely to move on before the transfer window closes.

With Stojanovic having started last weekend's Carabao Cup win over Shrewsbury Town, Pears is regarded as the likeliest to leave. The 22-year-old academy product is in the final year of his current Boro contract.