Vranjes prices himself out of move to Boro
MIDDLESBROUGH will not be signing Croatian international Jurica Vranjes after he priced himself out of a move to Teesside. Vranjes has spent the last week on trial at Rockliffe Park after leaving Turkish club Genclerbirligi and he had hoped for a chance in English football before retiring. However, the 31-year-old's wage demands meant a deal looked highly unlikely, even if manager Tony Mowbray had hoped to make him one of his summer signings. Vranjes has now returned home and has been linked with his first ever club, NK Osijek, and he will not be heading out to Slovenia with Middlesbrough on their pre-season trip. Neither will striker Andy Halliday who woke up yesterday with swelling around his ankle. Tests revealed he had an infection and he has been forced to rest, but he will find out the true extent of the damage today. Meanwhile, former French Under-21 international Malaury Martin continues to train with Middlesbrough in the hope of persuading Mowbray to hand him a chance in the Championship. Martin has been quietly impressive in training in the last fortnight, but he has to prove his fitness after an injury ruled him out of much of last season in the Premier League with Blackpool. Mowbray is keen to make progress on the transfer front in the coming weeks and his chances will improve if Didier Digard follows Kris Boyd out of the Riverside Stadium's exit doors this week. The signing of Digard has been made a priority by newly-installed Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere and sources in France claim he is on the verge of signing a three-year deal. Digard is the highest paid player at Boro and his departure would reduce the wage bill by almost £2m-a-year. With the return of out of contract Julio Arca looking unlikely and on the back of free agent Andrew Taylor's departure to Cardiff, Middlesbrough will have saved more than £100,000-a-week in wages if all of those move on. Martin is just one of the players interesting Mowbray, who has been instructed to reduce the wage bill by more than half before the season starts. But he is keen to make sure that chairman Steve Gibson does not allow transfer targets to sign elsewhere if he thinks the deal is too good to miss out on. Former Middlesbrough defender Stuart Parnaby and Academy graduate Graeme Owens are also training with the club.
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