Middlesbrough close in on £6.5m signing of Aston Villa’s Rudy Gestede

• Benin striker set to reject West Brom and Crystal Palace interest
• Villa could move for Boro’s Jordan Rhodes as replacement

Middlesbrough are closing in on the signing of the Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede, with Aitor Karanka’s side expected to pay around £6.5m to secure the Benin international.

Gestede, who scored five times in the Premier League last season, has caught the attention of several Premier League sides despite starting only eight Championship matches for Villa this season. Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion, as well as Newcastle United, were also interested in signing the former Blackburn striker but it appears Middlesbrough have won the race after convincing the 28-year-old to move to the north-east.

Gestede was in the crowd at the Riverside Stadium for Boro’s 3-0 defeat by Liverpool and is expected to sign a three-year contract with the club.

His departure could lead to the Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes heading the other way, with Villa’s manager, Steve Bruce, interested in signing the player purchased from Blackburn last year.

Newcastle may now turn their attention to Brentford’s Scott Hogan, with Palace and Swansea both prepared to pay £15m for Newcastle’s Serbia striker, Aleksandar Mitrovic.


Ed Aarons

The GuardianTramp

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