ADAM Clayton has revealed his move to Middlesbrough was never in doubt, despite late interest from Brighton and Hove Albion.
Clayton put pen to paper on a four-year contract at the Riverside Stadium yesterday, becoming Aitor Karanka’s sixth summer signing following the arrivals of Tomas Mejias, Kike, James Husband, Emilio Nsue and Kenneth Omeruo.
The deal, believed to be worth around £1.5m, also sees Jacob Butterfield head in the opposite to Huddersfield Town.
Karanka has been pursuing the midfielder all summer and thought he had the 25-year-old last week, but interest from Brighton seemed to stall the move with fears Boro could end up missing out.
However, Clayton insists moving to a club other than Middlebrough was never an option and admits he can’t wait to get started this weekend when the Teessiders travel to former club Leeds United.
“It’s been a bit like an episode of Coronation Street,” Clayton said. “I can’t wait to get started.
“It can be unsettling if you don’t know where you were going. But I’ve know where I was going to be since last Monday. We tried to get it through for Saturday’s game, but that didn’t happen, so there was no rush. There was just a lot to sort out with Jacob (Butterfield) going the other way. It was all rather complicated.”
Clayton could make his debut at Elland Road on Saturday and the 25-year-old admits he isn’t expecting a warm welcome from the home fans.
He said: “I got a nice frosty reception there when I went with Huddersfield, I can’t imagine it will be any different with Boro. It would be nice to start with a goal at Leeds.
“I enjoyed my two years at Huddersfield. Jacob will find a great little club run by good people and the lads there are top notch, if they get it right they’ll be all right, once they sort of the managerial situation.”
Boro hope to complete deals for Damia Abella and Patrick Bamford in the next 24 hours and the pair could also be involved in Saturday’s game.
Spanish right-back Abella has been training with the squad this week and it is understood Boro are just waiting for the finer details of his move from Osasuna to be completed.
Karanka is keen to have two players for each position and as The Northern Echo revealed last week, Boro are still looking to sign Bosnian World Cup right-back Avdija Vrsajevic.
The 28-year-old, who scored in Bosnia’s final World Cup game with Iran, has 14 caps for his country, but a move is complicated because he falls one game short of the criteria required for a work permit.
However, with two internationals coming up – albeit after the transfer window closes - Boro believe they could be successful with an appeal.
MIDDLESBROUGH Official Supporters Club is hosting its latest event this Monday.
Former Boro forward Alan Peacock, who made over 200 appearances for the Teessiders, is the quest speaker at the Fenton Suite inside the Riverside Stadium.
The night kicks-off at 7:30pm on Monday, August 18. For more information contact secretary Val Bandeira on 01642 592543.