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Middlesbrough boss looking forward to formalising link with Juninho's Ituano

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Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray is looking forward to the summer visit of Juninho to formalise the Championship club’s link with Ituano.

Juninho, who is affectionately known as The Little Fella in the region, is expected to fly to Teesside at the end of the season to put pen to paper on an official partnership.

The Brazilian is satisfied his club’s youth development set-up is up to scratch and he’s keen to see promising young players travel to the UK to advance their careers, which Mowbray also sees as a great opportunity.

The Boro boss said: "There’s dialogue going on. Their sporting director has been over for a few weeks and we’ve got the two lads on loan from Ituano [Marcos Beltrame Rhoden and Rafael Peireira].

"From meeting Juninho and being around him when he was here in the summer of 2011, he’s a very humble person, he’s a very nice guy and if we can tie up something between the two clubs it can only be positive.

"This is an opportunity to use our connections with Brazil. We are trying to grow recruitment at our football club - we haven’t reached South America yet."

Juninho is considered one of Boro’s finest ever players, after reaching two major finals and winning the 2004 Carling Cup during three different spells on Teesside.

The 39-year-old said: "I think it will be beneficial for both sides. Now, after football director Thiago Cruz went to England, the partnership has been agreed.

"Since we started the work to modernise Ituano, I have been thinking about getting both clubs closer."

Source: Evening Gazette


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