Premier League side Watford are intensifying their interest in Middlesbrough stalwart George Friend, according to The Northern Echo.
The 29-year-old moved to the Riverside Stadium all the way back in 2012 after two years at Doncaster Rovers, and has since gone on to become a trusted and accomplished member of the squad in the North East.
The left-back has played 202 times for Boro since making his debut against Bury in a League Cup tie back in August 2012, and also earned 24 Premier League appearances last term in what turned out to be a disastrous campaign for the club.
Injuries thwarted Friend’s season last time out, and it’s possible that that campaign could be his last at the Riverside Stadium, as reports suggest that Marco Silva’s Watford are ‘really keen’ to sign the 29-year-old this summer.
The Hornets finished just one place above the bottom three in the top-flight last term, so it’s clear that new boss Silva, who went down with Hull last time out, will need serious reinforcements to extend their stay in the top tier.
And given how solid and accomplished Friend has proven to be in recent years, including last season in the Premier League, he’d be an ideal addition to the Watford backline, yet it would surely strike a significant blow in Garry Monk’s plans for an immediate return with Boro.
Subsquently, whether Middlesbrough would entertain the idea of selling Friend this summer, when they themselves are looking to rebuild ahead of their Championship campaign, very much remains to be seen.
Middlesbrough fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!