By Pete O'Rourke

9th Jan, 2020 | 10:21am

Exclusive: Middlesbrough attacker on verge of joining EFL promotion challengers for 19/20

Middlesbrough winger Marcus Browne is poised to join Oxford United on loan, Football Insider understands.

Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate confirmed last weekend the club are willing to let Browne go out on loan for the second half of the season after falling down the pecking order at the Riverside.

A source at Boro has told Football Insider that a deal is close to being agreed with Oxford which will see him return to the Kassam Stadium after spending the season on loan there last year.

Browne, who joined Middlesbrough last summer from West Ham, has made 14 appearances in all competitions in his debut season for Boro, but he has featured just once since the first week in November.

Woodgate feels Browne will benefit by going out on loan to get valuable first-team football under his belt before returning to challenge for a place in the Boro side next season.

A number of clubs, including Charlton, Coventry and Doncaster Rovers have expressed an interest in Browne, but Oxford are set to win the race for his services.

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Browne enjoyed a successful spell on loan at Oxford last season from West Ham, scoring nine goals and creating five assists for the club in League One.

Oxford are currently in fourth spot in League One, just two points off the automatic promotion places, and manager Karl Robinson sees Browne as a key addition to his squad for the second half of the season.

In other Middlesbrough news, Bolton Wanderers have made a move to sign a Boro defender this month.