Middlesbrough have fended off Derby County and Stoke City to agree a deal with Saint-Etienne for defender Harold Moukoudi as he jets in to finalise a deadline-day transfer, Football Insider understands.
Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate has spent all month trying to reinforce his defence and is now on the verge of finalising a deal for the Cameroon international.
A Riverside Stadium source has told Football Insider that St-Etienne have rejected loan offers from Derby and Stoke for Moukoudi, 22, before accepting the deal on the table from Boro.
Moukoudi is now heading to the north-east to undergo a medical and bring an end to Woodgate’s centre-back search.
St-Etienne are keen for the 6ft 3in centre-back to get regular game time at a high level after featuring in just one of their last six Ligue 1 matches.
Moukoudi has also expressed a desire to go out on loan in search of first-team football and is willing to test himself in the English Championship.
He is now in line to become the third Middlesbrough signing of the transfer window following the arrivals of Patrick Roberts and Lukas Nmecha on loan from Manchester City.
The 22-year-old came close to a move to Aston Villa prior to his move to Saint-Etienne from Le Havre last summer.
Capped four times by France at Under-20 level, Moukoudi has switched allegiance to Cameroon.