Middlesbrough face competition from Premier League clubs for Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes, reports the Northern Echo.
Crystal Palace and Swansea City have joined the race for the Scotland international who continues to be linked with a move away from Blackburn.
Boro chairman Steve Gibson has pledged his commitment to invest in the squad within the limit for the Football League’s Financial Fair Play regulations.
The return of Patrick Bamford from Chelsea looks unlikely and Jelle Vossen’s future looks uncertain following the end of his loan deal, which has led the Teeside club to identify Rhodes as their number one target this summer.
Boro had tried to sign the striker on loan in March with a view to a permanent deal but Blackburn refused to let the 25-year-old leave.
The fact that Rovers have had another failed promotion bid makes it even harder for the Lancashire club to hold on Rhodes who scored 21 times last season.
The Ewood Park outfit are also in financial trouble and are under a transfer embargo, which could mean they will have to reluctantly accept a big-money offer.
Boro are confident they can beat league rivals Derby County and Nottingham Forest to the striker but they face stiff competition from Palace and Swansea.
A move to the Premier League would be difficult for Rhodes to turn down. Palace manager Alan Pardew has publicly said that he is searching for a new striker this summer while Swansea have the money from the sale of Wilfried Bony to Manchester City to spend on a new forward.
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