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Lens table bid for Middlesbrough striker Chuba Akpom

Lens table bid for Middlesbrough striker Chuba Akpom

French top-flight club RC Lens have submitted an official bid to sign Middlesbrough striker Chuba Akpom, as per Sky Sports.

Their opening proposal is worth £8 million, but Middlesbrough are holding out for a fee closer to £15m and will not sanction Akpom’s departure until a replacement is lined up.

The 27-year-old forward took the Championship by storm last season, netting 28 league goals in 38 appearances.

He was crucial to Michael Carrick’s side, firing them to the Championship play-offs before they crashed out to this weekend’s opponents Coventry City in the semi-finals.

Akpom has only been on Middlesbrough’s payroll for three years and spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan with Greek club PAOK.

However, his stock has risen exponentially following last season’s goalscoring exploits, and a summer departure could be on the cards.

The former Arsenal man is also attracting interest from Sheffield United and an unnamed European club.

Lens are in the market for at least one new striker to replace last season’s top scorer Lois Openda who joined RB Leipzig earlier this summer.

The Belgian striker netted 21 times in 38 league appearances as Lens missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Paris Saint-Germain by a meagre one-point margin.

The French high fliers pocketed around €43m from Openda’s departure to the Bundesliga, and they need a new marksman to lead the attack.

They want someone who can match Openda’s goalscoring prowess for a campaign that will see them compete on domestic and continental fronts.

Akpom could be a smart acquisition by Lens, but they will need to convince Middlesbrough to do business despite the player having just one year on his contract.

Boro will ideally prefer to hang on to Akpom, who has transformed into a lethal goalscorer under Carrick’s leadership.

However, it will be challenging to convince the former England under-21 international to turn down an offer from a Champions League side to remain in the Championship.

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