Middlesbrough have secured the signing of Gaston Ramirez, who becomes the club’s seventh new arrival this summer.
The Uruguayan international made 18 appearances and netted seven goals for Boro while on loan from Southampton during the second half of last season - in which the Teessiders gained promotion back to the Premier League.
Ramirez’s contract at St Mary's expired weeks later and following his fruitful spell on Teesside, the 25-year-old expressed his desire - back in May - to re-join Aitor Karanka’s side in the top flight.
Complications with the deal
However the deal became complicated when it emerged that Ramirez had signed a pre-contract with Uruguayan side Penerol back in January. As a consequence the Uruguayan became registered abroad and had to re-apply for a work permit to play in the UK.
That was initially rejected due to the fact Ramirez hadn’t played enough games for his national side, despite featuring in three games for Uruguay at this summer’s Copa America.
Foreseeing that this would happen, Boro subsequently reapplied on the basis that Ramirez has ‘exceptional ability’, and after weeks of paper work and endless negotiations, Karanka has finally got his man.
Ramirez was then pictured with the Boro squad which flew out to Marbella for their pre-season tour on Monday, after signing a three year deal with the North East club.
A point to prove in the Premier League
He will be keen to prove his worth in England’s top flight following disappointing spells at Southampton and Hull City.
Ramirez became the Saints’ record signing when he joined Southampton for £12 million from Italian side Bologna back in 2012.
After two years on the fringes he joined Hull two years later, where he made 22 appearances and registered just a single goal.
It wasn’t until last season when the talented playmaker began to show his full potential, when he took the Championship by storm and excelled in Boro’s vacant No.10 position behind the striker.
In doing so, Ramirez became a popular figure at the Riverside and will be welcomed back with open arms.
Ramirez follows Viktor Fischer, Bernardo Espinosa, Jordan McGhee, Martin De Roon, Victor Valdes and Antonio Barragan, who have all also joined Boro in this transfer window.
Karanka will now look to press ahead with other deals as he continues to look to strengthen his squad ahead of the new season which begins on August 6.