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Espinosa and Ayala poor

Middlesbrough Player Ratings
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Melo unhappy with 'bargaining chip' role

Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo has reacted furiously amid reports that he will be used by the club in a part-exchange deal for Liverpool's Raul Meireles.

• Hubbard: Reds held back by deadwood

Melo, 27, has endured a difficult time since moving to Turin from Fiorentina in 2009 and was 'awarded' the Bidone d'Oro - meaning Golden Bin, given to the player fans judge to be the worst in Serie A - during his first season with the Bianconeri.

His performances were much improved in 2010-11, but speculation has been mounting in the English and Italian press that he will be used as a makeweight in a move for Meireles.

In contrast to Melo, the Portugal international enjoyed an impressive debut Premier League campaign, scoring five goals in 33 games and picking up the ESPN PFA Fans' Player of the Year award.

Juventus are thought to be ready to offer £13.5 million for Meireles, with Melo thrown in, but the Reds are not thought to be interested in the Brazilian, who is fuming at his role in the protracted transfer.

"Let us say that Juve are not respecting me, or at least that's the impression I get," Melo said. "I'm not just anyone. I'm not a bargaining chip to be used to reach anybody."

Liverpool paid £20 million for young midfielder Jordan Henderson, while the likes of Charlie Adam and Dimitri Payet have also been linked with a move to Anfield.

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