Middlesbrough are still open to striking a loan deal for Everton midfielder Muhamed Besic but only if he lowers his wage demands, according to The Northern Echo.
It made sense for Boro to move for Besic following his short loan spell at the Riverside Stadium.
The 25-year-old signed for the club on loan from Everton in January for the second half of the season, in which he made 17 Championship appearances, scoring once and creating a single assist.
Prior to last week’s deadline, Boro were on course to land Besic’s signature once again, but at the eleventh hour it collapsed due to financial reasons.
Now, with the loan window still open until August 31, The Northern Echo reports that Tony Pulis remains keen on getting a transfer done, but on one condition.
The publication claims that Besic’s camp asked the Championship outfit to double the wages offered and to hand over a seven-figure agent’s fee.
If the financial demands are not lowered, then Boro will look elsewhere.
Besic – rated at £4.5m by Transfermarkt – proved in the second half of last season that he can be a decent member of Middlesbrough’s team.
However, there is a danger of the club getting distracted by negotiations and missing out on other targets.
Boro do not want to get a reputation for falling to a player’s demands, particularly when Besic’s camp were cheeky enough to ask for more money within 24 hours of the window closing.
Given that the proposed arrangement will only be a loan, Boro should not have to pay over the odds.
It is worth going back to the negotiating table, but if Besic does not budge, then the club must look at other targets.