Middlesbrough set to win race for Doncaster Rovers defender

GEORGE Friend is mulling over a move to Middlesbrough after Rovers accepted a bid from the Teessiders for the 24-year-old defender.

Friend held talks with Boro on Saturday and missed Rovers' 3-3 friendly draw at Bradford Park Avenue.

The bid for the former Wolves and Exeter defender, who joined Doncaster on a free transfer two years ago, is thought to be a six-figure sum.

Rovers boss Dean Saunders said: "If George goes I'll be really disappointed.

"He's a good man, he has a great attitude and he's a great athlete.

"But we have to cut our cloth accordingly and we've agreed a fee with Middlesbrough, although I'm still expecting more interest from other clubs."

Friend was also linked with a move to Charlton Athletic last week, with reports in the south reporting the Addicks were ready to make a £100,000 bid for the popular defender.

But Boro are in pole position for Friend's signature after Tony Mowbray became the first manager to contact Dean Saunders with a firm bid for one of his players.

Mowbray is keen to provide cover for young left back Joe Bennett and is well aware of Friend's versatility across the back four and in midfield.