'Former Boro striker linked with Barcelona switch'

'Former Boro striker linked with Barcelona switch'

The 32-year-old striker is currently plying for La Liga side Girona, having scored 12 league goals already this season.

According to a report from Spanish media outlet Marca, former Middlesbrough striker Cristhian Stuani has been linked with a move to La Liga giants Barcelona this month.

After the departure of Munir El Haddadi for Sevilla earlier this month, Barcelona are short of options in the attacking department.

With them competing on all fronts this season, manager Ernesto Valverde feels he needs cover to the attacking force of Messi, Suarez, and Dembele.

The reports further claim that it is 32-year-old Stuani whom Barcelona are looking to sign this month, as they are impressed with his league form this season.

Having featured in 19 games for fellow Spanish side Girona, Stuani has found the back of the net 12 times already. He has a healthy shot-conversion rate of 59% and manages a goal every 115 minutes in the league this season.

Barring Messi and Suarez, no other striker has scored more Stuani’s 12 league goals this season.

Also, while his age might have proved to be a stumbling block for any other side, the fact that Barcelona already have a plethora of attacking talent means they can gamble on the Uruguayan.

Marca also claim that Stuani has a release clause in his contract at Girona, one which would require Barcelona to pay €15m to acquire his services.

Stauni’s career with Boro

Stuani joined Middlesbrough in 2015 and spent two years at the Riverside, before being loaned out to Girona.

However, while his career at the club was anything but a success, Boro fans will still remember him for a priceless goal that he scored for the club.

He managed that goal in the last match of 2015/16 Championship season against Brighton, to help guide Boro to promotion to the Premier League.

Once in the Premier League and with Aitor Karanka opting to play Stuani as a wide attacking midfielder, he was unable to replicate his best form for Boro. 

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