MIDDLESBROUGH are set for a cash boost after Aston Villa's Premier League top four finish was guaranteed, with Champions League football triggering an add-on in the Morgan Rogers deal.

Rogers moved from the Riverside to Villa Park in January with the top flight club paying north of £8m up-front - with the deal potentially rising to between £15m and £16m with add-ons.

And one of the clauses that stipulated a further payment was Aston Villa qualifying for the Champions League, which was guaranteed this week with a game to spare after Tottenham's defeat to Manchester City.

It's not known exactly how much Boro are in line to receive, but it's a further boost in a deal that saw the Championship club make a huge profit on a player they only signed last summer from Manchester City for around £1m.


Rogers has quickly established himself as a favourite and key Villa player, having admitted he didn't expect to play such a central role so soon for Unai Emery's side.

He started eight games in a row before suffering an injury in the recent defeat to Brighton and missed Monday's night's 3-3 draw with Liverpool.

Rogers said recently: “When I signed for Villa, I never imagined I would play and be involved as much so soon.

"Obviously I had the confidence and belief that I deserved to be here but the team was playing so well and was so well structured. I've been pretty pleased with my performances."

Boss Emery said of the January recruit: "He is intelligent. He understands football. When we analysed and we signed him, it was because we analysed his ability to adapt quickly to our structure."

Finn Azaz arrived on Teesside in January but with Sam Greenwood heading back to Leeds and after Matt Crooks' exit in the winter, Boro will look to bring in an attacking midfielder this summer.

An early priority is the addition of a central midfielder after opting against making Lewis O'Brien's loan from Nottingham Forest permanent, but one player who won't be signing this summer is Michael Baidoo. The Elfsborg midfielder was this week linked with Boro and a string of other clubs, including Luton, Leicester and Hull City, but the Ghanaian is not on the radar of Michael Carrick or the club's recruitment team.

Another early priority for Boro is completing the permanent signing of Luke Ayling after his hugely impressive loan move. His Leeds United contract expires at the end of this month. Talks have taken place and the full-back said after the final day win over Watford that an agreement was "close".