TRANSFER TALK: Middlesbrough targeting ex-Sunderland captain Dean Whitehead after Stoke release?

Dean Whitehead
Dean Whitehead
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FORMER Sunderland skipper Dean Whitehead is rumoured to be a potential transfer target for Middlesbrough.

The 31-year-old has been released by Stoke City, along with another former Black Cats, Rory Delap, and currently is on the hunt for a new club.

Boro boss Tony Mowbray could be preparing to make Whitehead an offer according to the Northern Echo, with the prospect of reuniting him in midfield with former Sunderland youth academy prospect Grant Leadbitter.

A couple of other Championship clubs though – Derby County and Burnley – are also believed to be interested in a player who was a key member of Sunderland’s side from 2004-09.

Mowbray wants to strengthen the side generally so that they can sustain a push for the Premier League this season – they were in the top six until just after the New Year but faded badly.

Whitehead has more than 450 appearances under his belt but remains extremely fit and largely injury-free and would be a major benefit to any Championship side.