Whitehead all set for Middlesbrough confirmation

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FORMER Sunderland captain Dean Whitehead is joining Middlesbrough – and the deal could be done this weekend.

Whitehead, whose contract at Stoke expires tomorrow, will team up again with former Black Cats team-mate Grant Leadbitter in Tony Mowbray’s new-look Boro midfield.

Mowbray confirmed his interest in Whitehead last week, and talks appear to have been a success over personal terms for the 31-year-old, who had five years with Sunderland from 2004-09.

Mowbray said last week: “I feel he could help solidify us out of possession. He isn’t a player who the fans will necessarily get excited about but he can put out fires and he knows his job.”

Meanwhile, on-loan Hungarian midfielder Jozsef Varga is relishing his move to Boro, which was completed this week.

The 25-year-old Debrecen player said: “The manager looked around in more countries and was looking for a player for this position and said I was his main target.

“It’s also attracted me that the club’s aim is to win promotion. I’ve one year to prove my abilities in the Championship and, of course, I’d like Middlesbrough to sign me for a longer period.”

Boro striker Luke Williams, with England at the Under-20s World Cup, is a loan target for Oldham, while Yeovil want Boro defender Matty Dolan, having had a successful loan there last season.