Brighton are on back foot as Boro have £5m McNair offer accepted
Middlesbrough have underlined their determination to sign Paddy McNair after Sunderland accepted a bid of more than £5m for the Northern Ireland midfielder.
The Ballyclare man would prefer a move to the Premier League than the Championship but Brighton's two bids for the 23-year-old were knocked back.
Brighton appear unwilling to enter into a bidding war for McNair so a move to Boro seems likely if he can strike a deal with boss Tony Pulis.
With Mo Besic having returned to Everton after his loan spell, Boro's boss made central midfield a transfer priority.
The Black Cats, relegated to League One, are resigned to losing McNair, who joined from Manchester United in a joint deal with Donald Love in 2016.
McNair scored three goals in his last four games last season and the Seagulls will now need to act fast if they're to pip Boro to his signature.
Sunderland owner Stewart Donald has hinted that the move could be wrapped up in the coming days. He tweeted: "3/4/5 players may leave this week with a similar number coming in. It is busy and we are on it."