FOLLOWING the loan signing of Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun yesterday, Middlesbrough are hopeful of making Australian midfielder Riley McGree their fourth signing of the January transfer window.

It’s understood that a move to the club is inching closer to completion with McGree currently locked in talks with the Teesside club.

Boro have been long time admirers of the 23-year-old with recruitment staff looking to orchestrate a move over the last few months. However, McGree has been with fellow Championship side Birmingham City across two loan spells starting from October 2020.

Boro are looking to beat off stiff competition for his signature with the 23-year-old has also in discussions with Scottish Premiership side Celtic but it’s understood that talks have broken down clearing the path for McGree to seal a switch to Teesside.

The completion of a deal would see McGree sign a permanent deal with Boro. However, reports that the club have offered £5 million for the midfielder are understood to be wide of the mark with the fee considered to be substantially less.

The Charlotte FC midfielder spent the first half of this season on loan with the Blues where he scored two goals in 15 appearances. The midfielder returned to the MLS side in December for their upcoming campaign.

McGree started his career with Australian side Adelaide United before going on to complete a move to Belgian side Club Brugge.

During his time in Europe, McGree had loan spells back in his home country with Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City before completing a permanent move back to Adelaide.

Following a run of ten goals in 23 league games, McGree made the switch to America with Charlotte FC where he is yet to make an appearance. The MLS season is due to start on 26th February but it’s looking increasingly likely that McGree will be plying his trade elsewhere.