MIDDLESBROUGH have been in contact with Newcastle United in the hope of striking a deal until the end of the season for Spanish forward Xisco.

Boro are keen to make one or two additions to their squad before the transfer window closes on Monday night and Xisco is someone that has caught their eye.

Newcastle are willing to let the forward leave this month and are believed to have been trying to push him towards a return to La Liga with Real Zaragoza and Racing Santander.

But with his wages reputedly in the region of £50,000-a-week, Newcastle have found it increasingly difficult to move him on, particularly given he has another two years to run on his contract.

Middlesbrough, whose fall out of the Premier League and failure to return to the top-flight has left them battling to reduce their £24m wage bill, would also be unable to take over Xisco's contract.

But Boro boss Mowbray hopes Newcastle would see the benefit of loaning the former Spain Under-21 international to the Riverside Stadium - even if the Magpies would have to pay the majority of his wages.

The 24-year-old has not even figured for Newcastle since he made back-to-back substitute appearances in August and he has only made three starts in the league for them since signing in August 2008.

His cameo performance against Aston Villa on August 22, on the back of a few decent appearances during pre-season, seemed to suggest he was to be given more of a chance at St James Park this season.

But the £5.7m man has been unable to force his way in to both Chris Hughton and Alan Pardew's first team plans and Middlesbrough are hoping their North-East counterparts will sanction his departure on loan.

Middlesbrough would provide Newcastle with the chance to put Xisco in the shop window after a frustrating time in England at a time when he is likely to playing for the reserves. Xisco was brought to St James' Park by Newcastle's former executive director (football) Dennis Wise after he infamously recommending that Kevin Keegan took a look at him on YouTube. But with Andy Carroll, Shola Ameobi, Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands and Nile Ranger all ahead of him in the pecking order on Tyneside, Middlesbrough hope Newcastle opt to offload him on loan.

Mowbray's priority remains to bring in a new centre-back and Bayern Munich II's Maximilian Haas is most likely, while he also would like to add a midfielder.

There has been interest in Leroy Lita from Queens Park Rangers, while there have been a number of clubs from Russia and Turkey keen on taking Kris Boyd to mainland Europe.

But Middlesbrough are reluctant to lose any more players if it is not on their terms, with Boyd still the most likely first team candidate to depart before the transfer window closes. Boyd has no intention of heading to either of CSKA Moscow or Terek Grozny and is also reluctant to head for Turkey, where he could have moved in the summer for double what he earns at Middlesbrough. But his reputed £25,000-a-week wages do pose a problem and Rangers, the club he left last June, are interested in taking him back to Ibrox but are not in a position to cover his wages.

Mowbray has been encouraged by the strikers performances and feels the improvement in the teams displays overall should mean more goalscoring opportunities for the Scotland international.

But Middlesbrough know their financial position would be stronger if Boyd moved on this month and, give how Rangers have not replaced Kenny Miller, the Gers could still move for him.

The Scottish Premier League champions have lost out to Celtic in the race to land Kris Commons and Millers exit has eased their wage bill by around £18,000-a-week and there could still be movement over the weekend.

If Boyd was to leave, Middlesbrough may then be forced to explore one or two striker options, although Kevin Phillips is not thought to be on the radar contrary to reports. Mowbray is willing to let another of his strikers, Lee Miller, leave before Monday and Scunthorpe United look the most likely destination for the man signed from Aberdeen for £500,000 last January.

* Boro are rewarding the loyalty of the club's three-year season card holders by giving each of them a voucher for a free replica shirt. Boro had previously guaranteed more than 300 three-year Season Card holders free admission to all of the clubs home cup-ties. However, Boros third round defeat at Burton meant the Riverside will not be hosting any cup-ties during the current campaign.