Championship side Middlesbrough are set to complete the loan signing of Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas, The Gazette understands.
The highly-rated defender has spent the first half of the season on loan at Bundesliga club FC Koln but Blues boss Jose Mourinho has terminated the loan deal and is set to send the 21-year-old to the Riverside Stadium.
The defender, who can play at right-back or centre-back, has made two appearances for Chelsea and impressed in their victory over Liverpool at Anfield at the end of the last season.
The 21-year-old defender joined Chelsea in 2010 from Sigma Olomuc for a fee of £5.2 millon, but he has yet to cement a regular first-team slot in the side.
Kalas had a fruitful spell on loan at Vitesse from 2011 to 2013, where he went on to make 66 appearances in the Dutch League, subsequently aiding the defender’s development as a professional footballer.
Premier League side Queens Park Rangers have declared their interest in Kalas, who has made one appearance for the Czech Republic national team, but Chelsea have strong links with Middlesbrough and Mourinho is keen to send the defender to Teeside to aid his development.
The Blues have also allowed striker Patrick Bamford to stay with Boro until the end of the season.
Aitor Karanka’s side are currently fourth in the Sky Bet Championship table, five points adrift of leaders AFC Bournemouth.
A move for Kalas will present him with first-team opportunities that is much needed for a player of his age, and with a few Chelsea players already on loan at the club, settling in shouldn’t be too hard for the defender.