TRANSFER RUMOUR: Aston Villa unlikely to match Town’s valuation of Aaron Cresswell as George Friend set for medical with Middlesbrough
DONCASTER Rovers George Friend appears to be closing in on a move to Middlesbrough rather than wait and see how Aaron Cresswell’s situation develops at Ipswich Town.
Sky Sports have this morning reported that Friend is due to have a medical with Tony Mowbray’s men after a �250,000 fee was accepted earlier this week.
Blues boss Paul Jewell was looking at the 24-year-old, who can play centre-back or left-back, but appeared unwilling to make an offer until Aston Villa decided whether to step their own interest in Cresswell.
With Town already having two left-sided centre backs, in Damien Delaney and Tommy Smith, Friend was unlikely to be seen as a central option with Jewell likely to dip into the loan market to strengthen that area.
The Premier League side, now managed by ex-Norwich City boss Paul Lambert, have not made a bid for the left-back but have registered an interest with Ipswich who are understood to have put a �6 million price tag on the 22-year-old’s head.
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Sources close to Villa suggest the most they would be willing to pay is between �3-4 million although various add-ons could bump that figure up.
Another possibility that might intrigue Jewell is a cash-plus-player offer, but it remains to be seen whether Lambert steps up his interest in the coming days.
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Judging by how Villa have been shaping up in their pre-season tour of America – a narrow midfield – the new manager appears to be targeting full-backs who can work up and down the flanks.
He recently signed Sheffield United right-back Matt Lowton, a one-time target of Jewell.