Boro are reportedly one of the clubs interested in signing Southend midfielder Dru Yearwood.
Yearwood, 18, has emerged as somewhat of a breakout talent for Southend this season and, according to The Sun, interest is mounting.
Boro are believed to be weighing up a move but Tony Pulis will face competition from his former side Crystal Palace, whilst Brentford are also reportedly keen.
The report states that Southend are reluctant to sell the teenager, one of the League One club’s biggest assets, but their hand may be forced should a reasonable bid arrive.
A product of Southend’s academy, Yearwood plays in central midfielder and has 13 appearances to his name in all competitions so far this season.
His manager, Chris Powell, believes Yearwood would be better off remaining at Roots Hall.
“This is the best place for Dru at the current time,” he said. “He will only get better from playing games and he’ll get that here.
“But he’s a player that when fit and available is a very big young talent.
“You just want the best for him wherever the future takes him but he’s our player right now and I want that to continue.
“We’ll just have to deal with this and you can’t worry about these things because those kind of situations are out of your hands.
“If he’s playing we know people will be there watching him but he’s a Southend player and long may we continue to see him in a Southend shirt.
“He’s got his head screwed on and he’s got a brilliant family.
“He’s been here a number of years and he’s taken to me and my staff brilliantly which is great. But he really is a wonderful talent.”