Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

BORO HIT JORDI TRAIL; Gomez Is No.1 Target: Gomez Set to Be No.1 Target for Southgate

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

BORO HIT JORDI TRAIL; Gomez Is No.1 Target: Gomez Set to Be No.1 Target for Southgate

Article excerpt

Byline: ERIC PAYLOR

SPANISH midfielder Jordi Gomez could be the first new name in Boro's revamped squad next season.

Boro are very keen on the 24-year-old left-footed playmaker, who scored 12 goals in 41 games for Swansea City in the Championship last season.

Barcelona-born Gomez spent the season on loan at the Liberty Stadium, but has since returned to his parent club RCD Espanyol.

He could be available for around pounds 3m, though there will be plenty of interest from other British clubs.

In particular Boro may face competition from Newcastle United, who were strongly linked with the player last season.

In addition Celtic were watching Gomez throughout the second half of the campaign, though the resig nation of manager Gordon Strachan could lead to the Bhoys cooling their interest. Swansea have not yet given up hope of taking Gomez back to Wales, though manager Robert Martinez stresses that the Swans do not have the financial capabilities of getting involved in an auction. Martinez said: "We're desperate to keep Jordi but in reality Espanyol will be looking for the highest bidder. "It's not within our means to try to compete with other clubs in financial terms. "We are realistic and know that in the modern game finances play a big part." Gomez quickly established himself as a key player in the Swansea line-up last season after having struggled to make the breakthrough at Espanyol, where he made just three senior appearances.

He made such an impact in the Championship that he was named in the PFA Championship team of the year for the division. Martinez said: "Jordi came here and had a massive impact and he has developed as a player. "Without a doubt he is a better player now that he was 10 months ago. "He knows that 10 months ago only Swansea City wanted him in the UK and that will be with him forever and that's something to be proud of." Gomez fits the bill at Boro because he has both natural ability and the Championship experience which chairman Steve Gibson and BORO LINK: Jermaine Beckford manager Gareth Southgate are looking for. …

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