7:01am Friday 27th June 2014
MIDDLESBROUGH will discover whether they have completed the capture of Spanish right-back Juanfran within the next 48 hours.
Boro officials have agreed the terms of a 2m Euros deal for Juanfran, who should not be confused with the Atletico Madrid full-back and Spain international of the same name, with their counterparts at Real Betis.
Betis are looking to offload Juanfran, who can also play on the right-hand side of midfield, following their relegation from La Liga last season.
The 25-year-old has been offered a long-term deal on Teesside, but with other clubs also interested in acquiring his services, has asked for time to mull over his options.
Boro head coach Aitor Karanka has spoken to the defender personally, and is expecting an answer either way before he gathers his squad together for the start of pre-season training on Monday.
Karanka has been looking for a new right-back since releasing both Stuart Parnaby, who yesterday joined Hartlepool United, and Frazer Richardson at the end of last season.
He became aware of Juanfran when the Spaniard broke through the junior ranks at Real Madrid and went on to make more than 130 appearances for the club’s ‘B’ team.
He made one senior appearance for Real’s first team, before joining Real Betis on a free transfer last summer.
Karanka has already added to Boro’s Real Madrid links this summer by appointing one of the Spanish club’s former players to his coaching staff.
Ivan Perez Munoz, a former centre-forward, has agreed to join Boro’s backroom as one of Karanka’s assistants and should take up his new post next week.
A product of the Real Madrid academy, Perez spent a year with the reigning European champions’ senior squad after turning professional in 1996..
After leaving Madrid, he went on to play for a number of clubs including Real Betis, Bordeaux and Deportivo La Coruna. He retired from playing in 2005, and joins a Boro coaching staff that also 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."
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