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Boro confident over Alves

26 January 2008 10:53
Manager Gareth Southgate is confident that Middlesbrough can wrap up the signing of Heerenveen's Brazil striker Afonso Alves. The 26-year-old had seemed set for a move to AZ Alkmaar, but the Dutch FA have ruled that Alves is free to talk to other clubs, despite AZ claiming that he had signed a contract with them. Southgate told the club's official website: "We've spoken with the club and the player, but everything at the moment is a bit up in the air. "He's gone to the trouble of coming here and the vibes are that he wants to come. The chances are pretty good, but the timescale I can't give you. "What we've got to do is to negotiate with Heerenveen. He's on the open market so we can negotiate with them and go from there. "If we can do it, it will give everyone a big lift. It shows ambition that's there from the chairman (Steve Gibson). It's a significant signal from him. "Most of the parties are willing to do it, but we have to agree a fee and it's not straightforward. I don't want to spend money over and above what we can afford. "His goalscoring record at Heerenveen is emphatic and he had a good record in Sweden before that. He is a goalscorer, adapting to the Premier League is the challenge."

Source: ESA