Middlesbrough striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is rumoured to be attracting interest from Fulham, who could send goalkeeper Mark Crossley to the Riverside as a makeweight to the deal.
Crossley enjoyed a successful spell with Boro and is wanted by boss Steve McClaren following Mark Schwarzer’s revelation that he wants to quit the Teessiders, who are surprisingly involved in a survival fight.
The 36-year-old is now well down the keeper pecking order at Craven Cottage, where Antti Niemi and Tony Warner have arrived during January’s transfer window. Chris Coleman also has stoppers Ricardo Batista and Jaroslav Drobny on the books so would be happy to get Crossley off the wage bill – especially if it loosens the purse strings to land Hasselbaink.
The Daily Express reports the former Chelsea striker and Boro’s top goalscorer last season is keen to leave Boro.
The Dutch striker is behind Aiyegbeni Yakubu and Mark Viduka at The Riverside – and Coleman is hoping he could make a similar impact to Andy Cole, who was a smash hit during his time at the Cottage.
Following his successful stay with Chelsea, Hasselbaink would no doubt jump at the chance of a return to the capital – and the only stumbling block would be whether Fulham could afford his pricy wages.
Boro’s season has slumped from chasing a potential European spot to the worries of a relegation fight after failing to win a league match since the 3-2 home win against Fulham on November 20.
This terrible form has contributed to Mark Schwarzer requesting a transfer and manager Steve McClaren needs another goalkeeper to challenge the inexperienced Brad Jones.
The Boro boss has signed Crossley before but sold him to Fulham three seasons ago for £300 000 after he became disillusioned with playing second fiddle to Schwarzer.