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Chelsea hero Mikel John Obi to join Middlesbrough ahead of Crystal Palace

Chelsea hero Mikel John Obi is being lined up for a return to England.

The Northern Echo says the midfielder has been on Teesside looking to finalise a move to Middlesbrough after Tony Pulis outlined that he would like him to boost the Championship promotion charge.

Despite the fact Boro are not looking to increase the wage bill this month, Pulis would like to have him on board if a deal can be secured.

And if Mikel - who has undergone a medical - does get the deal he is looking for, after seeing a move to Crystal Palace breakdown last week, then that is likely to coincide with further departures at the Riverside.

Grant Leadbitter and Stewart Downing are two of the strongest candidates to be moved out given their situations, and both are not likely to start in the league during the run-in as things stand.

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Paul Vegas

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