By Will Butcher
Middlesbrough are eyeing a shock double swoop for former Manchester United veterans Robin van Persie and Victor Valdes, according to a report.
Holland international Van Persie has been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League this summer, with interest from West Ham and Crystal Palace.
ESPN FC claim the 32-year-old former Arsenal and United ace is in talks with the Teeside club after scoring 22 goals in all competitions for Fenerbahce this season.
According to the Sun, three-time Champions League winner Valdes is due on Teeside on Thursday for a medical, after manager Aitor Karanka and goalkeeping coach Leo Percovich were spotted in Barcelona last week trying to tie up a deal.
A deal looks to be close for the 34-year-old, after following he started following the official Boro account on Twitter.
Van Persie, who has 101 caps for his country, left United last summer and could become Boro’s fourth summer signing.
Karanka has also brought in Ajax’s winger Viktor Fischer, defender Bernardo Espinosa and Atalanta’s Martin de Roon.
Karanka, who has been at the Riverside since 2013, is also keen on adding experience to Boro’s back line, which is why he has set his sights on former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
Similarly to van Persie, Valdes left United after falling out with Louis van Gaal and has subsequently had a short loan spell at Belgian side Standard Liege.
Karanka is desperate to end Boro’s goalkeeping crisis. Question marks are still hanging over their current number one, Dimi Konstantopoulos, and whether he is good enough for the top flight.
In other Middlesbrough news, Karanka may also look to this goalkeeper if he fails to secure the signature of Valdes.