Heerenveen’s technical manager Ferry de Haan has revealed it’s now up to Mitchell van Bergen to decide where he wants to go after offers from Middlesbrough and Stade de Reims, providing this latest update to The Leeuwarder Courant.
The 21-year-old was previously on the verge of arriving at the Riverside Stadium just a week ago, with the Teesside club looking to compensate for the losses of Marvin Johnson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing in the summer.
But despite the Championship side being in pole position for his signature, Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims have potentially hijacked this potential move and as per Football Insider, they have also had agreed a fee with Heerenveen who are resigned to losing the Dutchman this summer.
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According to the same report, a move to the French side is van Bergen’s preference at this stage with the prospect of top-flight football on offer.
But personal terms are yet to be finalised with either club and Neil Warnock’s side could be left in limbo in the final five days of the window as they look to add the final touches to their squad.
Speaking to The Leeuwarder Courant on the latest situation with the winger, Heerenveen’s Ferry de Haan said: “That club only came into the picture after we agreed with Middlesbrough.
“Of course it happens more often that several clubs are interested in a player. That is now also the case with Mitchell.
“The terms of the transfer remain almost the same for us. We don’t give up on it.
“Now it’s up to the player himself.”
The same outlet are reporting the figure agreed with both sides is in the region of €2m and with the two teams agreeing to match that valuation, both sides now face a bitter tussle to win van Bergen’s signature.
Although it has been reported the 21-year-old’s first choice is to join Stade de Reims, you can never rule out another twist in this transfer saga after he previously looked set to sign for the Championship side.
Middlesbrough haven’t made a high-profile sale this summer that would allow them to offer a more attractive wage package to the Dutchman, so they should be focusing heavily on alternative targets if they haven’t received reassurances he will definitely be arriving on Teesside.
To lose out on him would be a shame though, especially with the sheer amount of time it must have taken to identify the player, scout him and negotiate a deal with Heerenveen.
It might be unclear where van Bergen’s final destination will be, but one thing is for certain: they need a new winger to come in before the transfer window ends.
With Sammy Ameobi still on the sidelines with his knee injury from pre-season, they have no fresh blood available on the wings as things stand and this could be detrimental to their hopes of getting into the top six.
Boro will just be hoping their manager’s promotion credentials and the potential opportunity to play in the Premier League will persuade their top target to snub Stade de Reims.