MIDDLESBROUGH remain confident of tying up a deal for Andraz Sporar in the next few days – but the Teessiders face a major battle to land Mitchell van Bergen after French side Stade de Reims emerged as new favourites to sign the Dutch winger.

Boro have agreed a fee with Heerenveen for van Bergen, but are yet to formally complete a deal for the 21-year-old.

With Heerenveen resigned to losing van Bergen ahead of next Tuesday’s transfer deadline, Stade de Reims officials made contact with the Dutch club’s hierarchy at the start of the week.

They have matched Boro’s financial offer, and are understood to have held talks with van Bergen and his representatives in the last 24 hours.

The winger has effectively been presented with a straight choice between Boro and Stade de Reims, who currently sit in 12th position in the French top-flight.

Sources in the Netherlands claim van Bergen is edging towards a move to France, which would leave Boro needing to pursue alternative targets in the final few days of the window.

The news regarding Sporar is more positive, with reports that emerged earlier today suggesting Boro had been unable to agree personal terms with the Slovenian striker understood to be wide of the mark.

The financial aspects of the deal have been agreed with both Sporting Lisbon and Sporar, with the transfer, which will be a season-long loan with a view to a permanent switch next summer, only being held up by legal red tape in Portugal.

Sporar is awaiting permission from the Portuguese tax authority to leave the country, with his status as a Slovenian citizen having complicated proceedings.

Boro officials expect the situation to be resolved soon, with the 27-year-old forward expected to be confirmed as a Middlesbrough player well ahead of Tuesday night’s deadline.