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Pinturicchio

Aiyegbeni Yakubu wechselt zu Boro

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Boro agree £6.5m Yak deal

Middlesbrough have agreed the £6.5m signing of Portsmouth striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu after he agreed personal terms and underwent a medical on Teesside on Monday.

The 22-year-old, who was left out of Pompey's final game of the season at West Brom on Sunday, was at Boro's training headquarters to discuss a move which has become one of football's worst-kept secrets.

"Middlesbrough Football Club announced today that they have agreed a fee with Portsmouth for the transfer of striker Ayegbeni Yakubu," said a club spokesman. "Personal terms have also been agreed with a view to the 22-year-old Nigerian joining the club on July 1."

"No further details about the transfer are being disclosed at this stage,'' added the Boro spokesman.

However, in an interview with Sky Sports News, chief executive Keith Lamb said: "We do not anticipate any problems. We expect him to be a Middlesbrough player in the very near future.

"He fulfils Steve McClaren's requirements. He is young, he is a goalscorer, he is the next generation. We have got (Jimmy Floyd) Hasselbaink and (Mark) Viduka, and I am sure with Yakubu joining our strike-force, it will give us even more firepower.

"It is very important to us.''

Boro's interest in Yakubu is well-known and their intent to sign him this summer was made clear long before new Pompey boss Alain Perrin admitted he was resigned to losing him.

McClaren was hugely impressed with the African's display in a 5-1 demolition of Boro at Fratton park on the final day of last season in which he scored four times.

He identified him then as one of three frontmen - the others were Patrick Kluivert and Viduka - who he would be targeting during the summer.

Boro eventually landed Viduka and Hasselbaink, and although the latter has collected 16 goals this season and played a major part in the club's qualification for the Uefa Cup, injuries have limited the Australian's opportunities.

Record-signing Massimo Maccarone is due to return from a loan spell back in Italy, while Viduka, Malcolm Christie and Joseph-Desire Job are fighting their way back from injury. Szilard Nemeth and youngster Danny Graham are also on the books.

However, asked is a successful conclusion to the Yakubu deal would result in any departures, Lamb replied: "Who knows? But at the moment, we are interested in adding to the squad and improving the squad, and Yakubu is a very valuable addition to the squad.

"Steve McClaren has selected him as somebody who will fit in with our existing players and be a very valuable addition to our squad for next year's games in the Premiership and in Europe.''

teamtalk.com

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