Middlesbrough target Andraz Sporar has completed his medical ahead of his potential move to the Riverside Stadium according to O Jogo (via Sport Witness), with the Teesside club not seeing the ‘white smoke’ yet due to a tax issue that has continued to delay this deal.
The Portuguese outlet have also revealed the Championship outfit will be obligated to pay a fee in the region of €8.5m to Sporting Lisbon if they win promotion and the 27-year-old scores 15 goals in the process, a sum they would be more than able to pay if they return to the top flight.
Sporar scored just three goals in 16 games for Braga in Liga NOS last season, but is an established Slovenian international who is currently away on international duty ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia, Malta and Croatia.
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Middlesbrough fans may be able to witness their potential new signing in action tomorrow night against the former, although any deal for his services will need to be wrapped up before the transfer deadline at 11pm tonight.
The forward will not be coming to England to finalise his deal and won’t arrive on Teesside until after the international break – but travelled to the Portuguese embassy in an attempt to sort out the problem between himself, his current club and Portugal’s tax authority.
With a deal yet to go through as things stand, Sporar will be waiting alongside his international teammates to find out if he’s received clearance from the Portuguese authorities in time to officially sign on the dotted line and link with Neil Warnock’s men.
The fact this transfer deal is going right down to the wire must be a source of concern for Middlesbrough fans who had been expecting the Slovenian to join some time ago.
Depth in the centre-forward area is desperately needed to provide competition for summer signing Uche Ikpeazu, so it wouldn’t be a real surprise to see Boro tie down another striker between now and 11pm regardless of whether Sporar joins or not.
Both manager Warnock and Sporar seemed confident that this deal would go through despite the delay, but with every hour that passes, this is starting to look like a deal that may have to be put on hold until January, despite all the work that has gone into making this signing a possibility.
It’s good news for Boro that he has passed his medical though and everything else apart from this international clearance seems to be sorted, so things could move quickly on this deal if that all-important green light from Portugal is received in the coming hours.
With Sporar on international duty, this is far from an ideal situation, but the Championship side will just be hoping to finally get this one over the line now.