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Flood gates open as Yeates departs Teesside

IRELAND B international Mark Yeates is expected to complete his move from Middlesbrough to Sheffield United in the next 48 hours.

But Boro will still have an Irish presence at the club for the second half of the season as Dubliner Willo Flood was due to formally sign up with the Teessiders later today after a medical this morning.

The move was initially floated as a loan deal but Flood is keen for stability and the move will be a per-manent one if the clubs can agree on a fee for the £200,000-rated player.

Yeates's departure from Boro is a surprise as the former Tottenham man only joined the club last summer, moving from Colchester United in a £450,000 deal.

He has impressed at the Riverside this season, scoring one goal in 21 appearances, and only last week the 24-year-old reaffirmed his commitment to the club, saying that he planned to win a place in the senior Ireland squad on the back of some good displays in the Boro shirt.

His most recent game was in the 1-0 defeat by Manchester City in the FA Cup, but that could prove to be his last appearance in the red shirt as the Blades have made an offer, and if Yeates can agree personal terms, the deal will go through.

Tallaght man Yeates began his senior career with Tottenham, making his Premier League debut in April 2004 and claiming four appearances for Spurs before he was sold to Colchester in 2007.


Blades's boss Kevin Blackwell is a long-time admirer of Yeates and has tried to buy him in the past, but if the Sheffield club can come up with Boro's asking price -- said to be in the region of £450,000, the fee they paid out last summer -- they will allow him leave, as Yeates was signed by previous Boro manager Gareth Southgate, and new boss Gordon Strachan is trying to build a new team of his own.

That is one of the reasons why Flood is joining Boro from Celtic. Strachan brought Flood to Celtic from Dundee United 12 months ago but the midfielder struggled to get a regular game under new boss Tony Mowbray this season, and Celtic are now willing to let Flood leave on a permanent deal.

"I think it's fair to say that me moving to Celtic has not gone according to plan," Flood said.