MIDDLESBROUGH appear to have won the race to sign Sammy Silvera, with the winger set to head to England in the next few days to complete the move.

Boro are one of at least three Championship clubs to have had an offer accepted for the Central Coast Mariners wide-man, with Stoke City and Plymouth Argyle also known to have held talks with the 22-year-old’s Australian employers.

However, the Australian media are reporting this morning that Silvera has opted to join Boro, with sources claiming that a deal chould be wrapped up before the end of the week.

Middlesbrough’s recruitment team have been working hard to convince Silvera to opt for the Riverside, with his compatriot, Riley McGree, also believed to have been playing a part in the charm offensive.

Financially, there will not have been much between the respective English offers on the table for Silvera, although Scottish Premier League club, Hearts, dropped out of the running when they accepted they could not match the wages being offered by the winger’s Championship suitors.

Silvera received a more lucrative offer from a club in Japan, but having been born in London, and with his mother, Julie, still living in his birth city, his preference was always for a move to England.


While Stoke and Plymouth will have made their own approaches, Boro were able to offer the strong potential for a tilt at promotion to the Premier League next season given how well the Teessiders performed under Michael Carrick last term.

The club’s historical Australian links could also have been a factor, with the likes of Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka, Brad Jones, Scott McDonald and Rhys Williams all having won international honours with Australia while playing for Boro.

Silvera, who is likely to command a fee of around £700,000, is already an Australia Under-23 international, and impressed last season as he helped Central Coast Mariners win the A-League title.

He scored and claimed an assist in the A-League final as the Mariners thrashed Melbourne City 6-1, and was a part of a team that also featured centre-half Nectarios Triantis, who completed a move of his own to Sunderland earlier this summer.

This is set to be a busy week for Boro, with the club also closing in on the signing of Dutch defender Rav van den Berg, who is joining from PEC Zwolle, and forward Alex Gilbert, who is set to move to Teesside after turning down the offer of a new contract at Brentford, where he starred for the club’s B team last season.