Boro bid for Watson accepted

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Midfielder Ben Watson is poised to join Middlesbrough from Crystal Palace, who have accepted a £2million bid for the player.

Watson's future has been in doubt since he rejected a contract offer from Palace last summer - and manager Neil Warnock confirmed a fee has been agreed by Palace chairman Simon Jordan with the Barclays Premier League club.

"The chairman has spoken to (Middlesbrough chairman) Steve Gibson - and they have agreed a £2million fee," Warnock told the Croydon Advertiser.

"It is not a foregone conclusion yet. Ben still has to agree personal terms."

The deal could include various add-ons.

Boro's assistant manager Malcolm Crosby is, meanwhile, backing manager Gareth Southgate to turn things around after seeing his club slip into relegation trouble. Boro found themselves inside the bottom three after Saturday's 3-0 defeat by West Brom, which led to some frank admissions by the former England defender.

Southgate has insisted since he got the job at the Riverside Stadium that, despite the famed loyalty of chairman Steve Gibson to his managers, he would be shown the door if he did not get results.

The reverse at The Hawthorns left Boro without a win in 10 league matches, and the manager knowing things have to improve soon. However, Crosby is confident the 38-year-old will get it right.

He said: "Gareth said a lot of honest things after the West Brom game at the weekend, but that's the kind of man he is.

"The one thing he would never do is try to hide from the facts. He was very, very frank with his comments. We have got another game coming up this weekend. That's the beauty of football - you have always got another game to look forward to."

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