Once courted by Aston Villa, Harold Moukoudi decided it was best for his development as a footballer to stay in France, moving from Le Havre to Saint-Etienne on a free transfer.

However, things didn’t exactly go to plan, and the 22-year-old never managed to convince Claude Puel he deserved to start games regularly, so a loan to Middlesbrough F.C. was organised in January.

The defender immediately slotted into Jonathan Woodgate’s plans, starting seven games in a row before the Championship was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the former Real Madrid defender praising his loanee and labelling him a future Premier League player.

With all this in mind, it’s worth noting that news from France suggests Middlesbrough could get a chance at signing the player permanently should they manage to convince him to stay.

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Le Foot in France explain Moukoudi doesn’t fit in Puel’s plans going forward and could ‘never return to Saint-Etienne’.

They state the Middlesbrough loanee has ‘multiple suitors in France and abroad’ and ‘has a great chance of being transferred during the next transfer window’.

We’ll have to wait and see if the Championship side come forward with their own bid in all this, but if he’s playing regularly, enjoying himself under Woodgate and the Riverside club can make an offer Saint-Etienne are happy with, then it would make a lot of sense for him to stay beyond the current campaign.