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Middlesbrough and Millwall set to miss out on EFL defender as fee agreed with overseas club

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Championship outfits Middlesbrough and Millwall are set to miss out on a deal for Accrington Stanley defender Ross Sykes, with Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise closing in on his capture, according to the Daily Mail’s Jack Gaughan.

USG, who finished second in Belgium’s top flight last season and are owned by Brighton & Hove Albion chief Tony Bloom, are on the verge of securing a £500,000 deal for the 23-year-old, despite clubs from England watching Sykes intently in recent times.

Per Alan Nixon, the Lions, Boro, Barnsley and Rotherham were all in the hunt for Sykes, who scored three times and notched four assists in 39 League One games for Stanley this past season, as well as picking up 13 yellow cards.

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But Sykes instead looks to be heading abroad, where he could be partnering another Englishman in defence in the form of former Portsmouth defender Christian Burgess.

With just one year left on his contract after triggering his extension earlier in the off-season, Accy are set to cash in on the academy graduate, who has made 101 league appearances in his career for the club.

The Verdict

Looking at the underlying stats from his performances this past season, Sykes would have been a great pick-up for a Championship side – and for a reasonable fee as well.

However, he is heading to the continent in a move that more and more British players seem to be making in recent years.

Union SG are a club on the up as well, having gone from the second tier in Belgium to immediately finishing in second position in the Jupiler Pro League, so it will be an interesting step up in class for Sykes should the move go through.

The deal is not signed and sealed yet though, so English clubs can make a late play if they want, but for all intents and purposes it looks as good as done for Sykes to head to Belgium.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Middlesbrough and Millwall set to miss out on EFL defender as fee agreed with overseas club

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