NEIL WARNOCK is confident Middlesbrough’s deal for Andraz Sporar remains on track – but the striker will head off on international duty with Slovenia next week without having travelled to England.

Sporar is joining Boro on a season-long loan from Sporting Libson, with a view to a possible permanent transfer next summer, but confirmation of his switch to Teesside has been held up by legal and financial red tape in Portugal.

Boro have received assurances over the last 24 hours that the situation is close to being resolved, which should enable the loan to be formally concluded well ahead of Tuesday’s transfer deadline.

However, with Sporar having been called up for Slovenia’s World Cup qualifying triple-header against Slovakia, Malta and Croatia, the 27-year-old forward will now no longer be flying into England before linking up with his national side.

“I’m hoping the Sporar deal will happen and we can put that to bed before the deadline,” said Warnock. “It (the delay) was nothing to do with us – everything has always been agreed with us and the club.

“It was a problem he had with his own club, a financial problem he had to sort out, but hopefully he’s sorted that out and everything can get transferred. I’ve spoken to the player, and he’s looking forward to it.

“He’ll be going straight over there (on international duty) now though. We’ve made sure that where he’s going, we won’t have isolations and things like that. We’re just trying to look ahead to make sure he’s available for the next game.”

Sporar has played in Switzerland and Germany as well as his native Slovenia and his current home, Portugal, and is a versatile forward who can play right across the frontline.

“He’s not an out-and-out number nine, although he has played that role over his period there (at Sporting),” said Warnock. “I just think he’s an energetic lad who’s always on the backline, on the last shoulder, and will give defenders something else to think about.

“That’s what we’re looking for. You’ve seen when Duncan (Watmore) was injured, we haven’t really got anything to go the other way. I think he’ll be a good addition to the squad. “