Boro have had a £6 million bid for striker Alan Smith accepted by Manchester United - and now manager Gareth Southgate will jet to Florida to convince the player to join his Riverside revolution.
Smith is currently on holiday in the States but Southgate is determined to sell Middlesbrough to the 25-year-old England international.
Southgate's Atlantic crossing puts Boro a step ahead of north east rivals Newcastle and Sunderland, both of whom have been tracking the former Leeds star.
Neither Sam Allardyce nor Roy Keane have lodged bids with Old Trafford, leaving Southgate in the box seat.
Newcastle are believed to have beaten Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Tottenham to the £3.5million capture of Manchester United's Alan Smith
Magpies boss Sam Allardyce has been a busy man since taking the reins at St James' Park, and is now reported to have added Smith to his list of new recuits, which includes Mark Viduka and Joey Barton.
The Toon chief has moved for Red Devils hitman Smith after discovering that strikers Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins have get-out clauses written into their contracts.
* Mail On Sunday:
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp is trying to hijack Newcastle's move for Alan Smith.
Redknapp is lining up a £3.5 million bid for the Manchester United striker after being priced out of moves for Preston's David Nugent and Middlesbrough's Yakubu.
Boro are interested in the England player, too, and Redknapp said: "Alan is fantastic value at the money United are asking."