Boro to appoint former Real Madrid forward to coaching staff - and hoping to sign Spanish full-back (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Boro to appoint former Real Madrid forward to coaching staff - and hoping to sign Spanish full-back
MIDDLESBROUGH are set to appoint former Real Madrid forward Ivan Perez Munoz to their coaching staff.
A product of the Real Madrid academy, Perez spent a year with the La Liga's senior squad after turning professional in 1996 and was briefly a team-mate of current Boro head coach Aitor Karanka.
After leaving Madrid, Perez went on to play for a number of clubs including Real Betis, Bordeaux and Deportivo La Coruna.
He retired from playing in 2005, and is now due to join a Boro coaching staff that already includes assistant head coach Craig Hignett, goalkeeping coach Leo Percovich and fitness coach Carlos Cachada.
Speaking to the Spanish media, Perez said: "I'm going to England to work with Aitor Karanka at Middlesbrough. Since 2013, Aitor has been working there.
"The team is in the second division and our goal is to get promotion, but we know how hard it is to move up in competitions in English football.
"I thank Aitor for giving me this opportunity, which I will work with with the utmost enthusiasm and commitment."
Middlesbrough are also hoping to complete a 2m Euros deal for Real Betis right-back Juanfran ahead of the start of pre-season training next week.
Boro have agreed the broad terms of a 2m Euros deal with Betis officials, but other clubs are also interested and Juanfran is currently considering his options.
The 25-year-old, who should not be confused with the Atletico Madrid full-back Juanfran, who is currently playing for Spain at the World Cup, was relegated from La Liga with Betis last season and is looking to move on.
He can also play on the right-hand side of midfield, having spent the early years of his career as a winger with Real Madrid's 'B' team.