Striker Middlesbrough fought hard to sign two years ago 'close' to Premier League move

Jorgen Strand Larsen of Celta Vigo
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Getty Images)

Wolves are said to be closing in on a deal to sign one-time Middlesbrough target Jorgen Strand Larsen for a fee of around £25 million.

It comes two years after Boro had two offers from the then-Groningen striker turned down, with Strand Larsen publicly expressing his dismay at not being allowed to move to England, feeling the Dutch side were asking for too much.

Strand Larsen had been that summer's top target to fill a striker spot in Chris Wilder's squad and their highest offer was believed to have been just shy of £10 million, with Groningen understood to have been wanting a fee closer to £12.5m. Boro were unwilling to match that fee, believed to be because of profit and sustainability restrictions.

READ MORE: FC Groningen and Jorgen Strand Larsen comment on the Middlesbrough target's Celta Vigo move

The hope was that Groningen would eventually lower their demands, with the Norwegian striker so keen on the move to the Riverside. However, Spanish La Liga side Celta Vigo came in with a late offer for the striker that trumped Boro's biggest bid and it was the move to Spain that Strand Larsen ended up making.

His first year in La Liga was a struggle, however. He managed only five goals in all competitions as Celta only narrowly avoided relegation, but things have gone much better in season two. The 24-year-old's 13 goals and all-round performances have alerted Wolves, who have made the move to sign him this summer and they are said to have beaten West Ham to his signature.

Having improved their scouting and recruitment teams in recent years, Boro have had a much better record in the transfer market and have signed many talents who've been developed and grown in both quality and market value as a result. While Strand Larsen didn't ever end up at Boro, it highlights further their ever-improving capabilities at finding so-called hidden gems and untapped potential.

As for missing out on Strand Larsen, Boro ended up unable to sign another striker that summer, having turned attentions late on to Preston North End's Emil Riis as an alternative. Earlier in the window they'd already signed Matthew Hoppe, Marcus Forss and Rodrigo Muniz, with Wilder operating with two strikers.

Wilder's time at Boro would soon be over, however, with Michael Carrick arriving in the October and changing the system to only play with one striker. Despite that, Hoppe and Muniz failed to impress and Forss was switched to the right flank. Cameron Archer therefore arrived on loan from Aston Villa in January, helping Boro reach the play-offs.