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Wednesday, 16 January, 2002, 17:37 GMT
Boro try to salvage Forlan switch
Diego Forlan could find obstacles in his path to Middlesbrough
Forlan could find his path to Middlesbrough blocked
Middlesbrough are locked in last-ditch talks to try and salvage a bid for Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan.

The sticking point which threatens the deal with the Argentine club Independiente is the manner of payment of the 6.9m fee.

Boro want to pay in instalments, but cash-strapped Independiente want the money in one lump sum. They need the money up front to pay the wages of players and staff.

Forlan agreed personal terms with Boro, who want the deal to go through quickly to beat off competition from Manchester United and Lazio.

If the transfer is done, it is the most important step in my career
Diego Forlan

Independiente are also anxious to push the deal through to enable coach Hector Trossero to make his preparations for the Argentine season, which starts on 8 February.

The Buenos Aires club's vice-president Fernando Sciaccaluga insisted in the Clarin newspaper that Middlesbrough must meet their demands.

He said: "In terms of our club, everything that can be resolved here in Buenos Aires has been done.

"What is left can only be resolved in England."

Forlan's agent Marcos Franchi remains confident the deal will go through, as do the club, who have booked his flight ticket.

Franchi told Argentine radio station La Red: "It's a 70% probability that there will be an agreement between both clubs.


"There are also a few small details that the player has to agree to, but they can be resolved after the transfer is completed."

Forlan is keen to make the switch to England, to further his career and help out Independiente.

He said: "If the transfer is done, it is the most important step in my career.

"Moreover, the club would get money and my colleagues will be able to get part of their money they are owed.

"I am honoured that an English club has come to get me."

Boro boss Steve McClaren has been trying to cut the Riverside wage bill after spending around 11m on players since his arrival in the summer.

But his side, who lie one point above the relegation zone, have scored just four goals in their last 10 Premiership games and he is desperate for firepower.

Main striker Alen Boksic has been out since New Year's Day with a calf injury and McClaren has also made an enquiry about Manchester United's Dwight Yorke.

Boro boss Steve McClaren
"He's certainly a player who interests us"
BBC Sport's Tim Vickery
"He's a very, very exciting prospect"
See also:

16 Jan 02 |  FA Cup
Man Utd anger at ticket snub
09 Jan 02 |  Middlesbrough
Boro ponder Yorke bid
07 Jan 02 |  Cup of Nations
Job completes Metz move
Links to more Middlesbrough stories are at the foot of the page.


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