Middlesbrough have completed the signing of Alvaro Negredo on a season-long loan from Valencia.
The 30-year-old striker, who won the Premier League with Manchester City three years ago, joined the Boro squad on their pre-season training camp in Marbella on Tuesday night following a series of negotiations last week.
A complicated deal
Boro had initially planned for Negredo to fly to their training ground at Rockliffe to complete his medical before the team flew out to Spain on Monday.
However after talks dragged on longer than anticipated, the forward then drove the 400 miles from Valencia to Marbella to seal the deal before Boro's 2-1 friendly defeat to Real Betis last night.
The Teessiders, who earned promotion from the Championship last campaign, will have an option to buy Negredo for a fixed fee of €10millon once his loan deal ends.
Complications arose due to the fact Valencia wanted to slash their wage budget to abide with Financial Fair Play rules. Negredo signed permanently for Valencia last summer for a reported fee of €28million and was believed to be costing the Spanish giants around €7million a year; or €130,000 a week.
A title winner with City
Even so the signing should be another huge coup for Boro, who have now welcomed seven new arrivals since they were promoted back to the top flight.
Negredo scored 70 goals in 139 games for Sevilla between 2009 and 2013, which prompted City to splash £16.4 million on the forward before their title winning campaign.
He netted 23 goals in 48 appearances during his time in England; however his performances did tail off during the second half of the campaign and he was loaned out to Valencia the following season.
He signed permanently at the Mestalla a year later and overall scored 18 goals in 76 games there. The 30-year-old also has 21 caps for Spain, in which he has registered 10 goals.
Competition for places in attack
The Spanish international should add some impetus to Boro’s attack by providing competition for the likes of Jordan Rhdoes and David Nugent.
In his time on Teesside Karanka has rarely deviated from his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation so it is inevitable that at least one will miss out.
At 6 ft 1 Negredo isn’t blessed with pace, though he is good with his feet and in the air so should be able to hold the ball up effectively and bring others into play.
He will rely on service so the likes of Albert Adomah and Stewart Downing will have to provide plenty of chances for him to feed off if he is to be a success.
Negredo could play a part in Boro’s remaining two games in Marbella, but if not he could feature in friendlies against Aston Villa and Real Sociedad when the team return to England.