Middlesbrough are closing in on a record £12 million deal for Heerenveen striker Afonso Alves.

The Daily Mail says chairman Steve Gibson and manager Gareth Southgate met the Heerenveen player's representatives on Teesside yesterday in a bid to beat Manchester City and AZ Alkmaar to the 26-year-old's signature.

The striker, who has eight Brazil caps, scored regularly for Orgryte and FC Malmo in Sweden before joining Heerenveen two years ago.

He was top scorer in Holland last season with 34 goals and has continued his rich vein of goalscoring form this season, netting 10 goals including the fastest hat-trick in Eredivisie history.