By Wayne Veysey

3rd Jul, 2019 | 11:00am

Exclusive: Sheffield Wednesday plot raid to sign PL defender wanted by Middlesbrough

EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Sheffield Wednesday have joined Middlesbrough in the race to sign Crystal Palace defender Pape Souare, Football Insider can reveal.

Wednesday manager Steve Bruce has turned his attention to the Senegal international, 29, after learning that the player could be persuaded to drop down to the Championship next season.

A source with knowledge of Souare’s situation has told Football Insider the player is eager for regular football after a difficult few years in which his career has veered off course.

He is open to a transfer from Palace, who are keen to keep hold of him for another year and continue to provide competition for first choice left-back Patrick Aanholt.

Football Insider revealed earlier this week that new Boro manager Jonathan Woodgate has also set his sights on prising Souare from south London.

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A battle is now shaping up between the Championship big hitters for the signature of the wide defender, who made just four appearances for Palace last season.

Souare was initially a key player when he signed for the Londoners in January 2015 but his career was badly hit by the car crash he suffered the following year.

He has subsequently been a bit-part player at Selhurst Park and this has provided encouragement for the likes of Wednesday and Boro that he could be signed.

Souare has made 63 appearances in total for Palace after previously being a regular starter for Lille and Reims in Ligue 1, and has also been capped 26 times by Senegal.

In other Middlesbrough news, it can be revealed that one of the club’s forwards has agreed to join a new club.