Middlesbrough to complete signing of Alvaro Negredo from Valencia
Middlesbrough are close to confirming the signing of Spain international striker Alvaro Negredo from Valencia after he failed to travel with the Spanish club to their pre-season training base in Holland.
Boro have been pursuing the 30-year-old forward, formerly of Manchester City, since their promotion to the Premier League was confirmed in May. He will join initially on a season-long loan as manager Aitor Karanka refused to gamble on the permanent signing of a player who has struggled for form since returning to La Liga in 2015.
Middlesbrough will, however, pay a loan fee and will cover the full cost of Negredo's wages, which are believed to be in the region of £100,000-a-week.
Negredo did well in his solitary season at Manchester City and Boro have added some much-needed power to their front line given they were promoted with David Nugent and Jordan Rhodes vying for the centre-forward slot.
A clause has been inserted into the loan deal that gives Boro the first option to buy Negredo, if they deem his return to the Premier League a success, but Negredo has managed just 10 league goals since signing for Valencia, intially on loan, in 2014.
Negredo is now expected to travel to Teesside and will become the club's seventh signing of the summer, following fellow Spaniards, the former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and his old Valencia teammate Antonio Barragan, who moved to the North-East for around £2m last week.
Negredo had been expected to sign for Boro last week, but there was a hold up in negotiations, which has now been resolved and he should sign in the next 48 hours after a medical.
Negredo, who attracted City's attention after a prolific spell at Sevilla, costs Valencia around €7m a year in a complex contract, which includes significant wage demands and several performance related bonus clauses.
Valencia also have outstanding payments to make on the €28m they paid to sign him from City 12 months ago.