Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka refused to comment on the proposed signing of Stewart Downing after watching his side continue their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 win over Leyton Orient.
Downing is set to jet out to Marbella to link up with the Boro squad after the completion of a £7million move from West Ham.
The midfielder had been targeted by Sunderland, but has decided to rejoin his hometown team – despite having to drop into the Championship.
The deal is expected to be sealed in the next 24 hours but Karanka – who missed out on goalkeeper Shay Given, who joined Stoke City instead of Boro – was remaining tight-lipped.
“I can’t say anything because I said one week ago that signing players like Stewart or Shay Given is difficult, so I will focus on the players I have now.”
Goals from Albert Adomah, Adam Forshaw and Kike Garcia gave Middlesbrough a comfortable win at at the Marbella Football Center. Kranka said: “We’ve made another step forward.”