Middlesbrough are on the verge of completing the signing of Dutch midfielder Marten de Roon this week, according to the Gazette.
The 25-year-old Atalanta star has been the subject of interest from Boro and it is believed that the Serie A side have accepted a €14m bid from Aitor Karanka’s club.
De Roon is reportedly Karanka’s main transfer target and is set to jet into the UK to visit Rockliffe Park before signing on the dotted line to become Boro’s third signing of the summer so far. Viktor Fischer and Bernardo Espinosa being the other two new recruits already under contract.
The Dutchman is rated as one of Europe’s best defensive midfield players, having emerged as a bright young talent at Sparta Rotterdam before moving on to Heerenveen and then Atalanta.
It is rumoured that Napoli, among others, were interested in de Roon but after initial talks with Boro, the player has decided that he wants to join up at the Riverside to try his hand at the English Premier League.
De Roon would fit in well at Boro and would also provide competition in the midfield area alongside potential teammates Grant Leadbitter, Adam Forshaw and Adam Clayton.
In his own words, de Roon can be “a bit of a d*ck on the pitch” and he admits that his attitude changes the minute he steps out onto a football pitch.
Speaking with Youtube channel 90/24 Sports, de Roon said: “I can be a bit of a d*ck on the pitch. On there, something clicks and I become a different person.
“I enjoy standing on someone’s toes now and then or whispering in someone’s ear if they do something wrong or miss a chance. Sometimes I go up against really talented players so you’ve got to keep on top of them to throw them off their game a bit.
“I would never intentionally injure anyone or go in with two legs or tackle dirty, I play tough but fair, I keep within the rules of the game.”