Middlesbrough complete signing of West Ham striker Ashley Fletcher for £6.5m

Middlesbrough have confirmed the £6.5million signing of Ashley Fletcher from West Ham.

The 21-year-old striker has agreed a four-year contract to become big-spending Boro's seventh new signing this summer.

Fletcher joined West Ham from Manchester United last year but started just two Premier League matches, and has been pushed further down the pecking order by the arrival of Javier Hernandez.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic told the club website: "We got a fantastic offer for Ashley and ideally I wanted to help him with a different kind of scenario, but at the end of the day the offer was so good for the club and for him personally.

"I spoke to him on Wednesday night and I told him to be proud of the step that he made since coming to West Ham last year to being a player that a lot of clubs from the Championship are asking for.

"To make such a big step is a big bonus for him and a big thing for him. He's very young, very promising, a great lad and a great trainer, so he can improve a lot."

Fletcher is the second player to sign for Middlesbrough from West Ham in the last seven days, joining goalkeeper Darren Randolph at the Riverside.

Relegated Boro have also brought in Britt Assombalonga - for a club-record fee of £15million - Martin Braithwaite, Cyrus Christie and Jonny Howson on permanent deals, and Connor Roberts on loan from Swansea, as they bid to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Source: PA


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Middlesbrough academy player Anthony Renton diagnosed with leukemia

Middlesbrough have announced academy player Anthony Renton has been diagnosed with leukemia.

Renton, 18, is currently undergoing treatment at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

A club statement read: " The thoughts and support of everyone at the Boro are with one of our academy players who has been diagnosed with leukemia.

"Middlesbrough-born Anthony Renton, 19 in November, is currently in the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle where where he is being treated for the first 30 days.

"As a club we have been right behind Anthony and the family offering logistical and moral support and as everyone, Anthony especially, comes to terms with the situation the need for continued support from everyone is obvious."

Manager Garry Monk added: "We were all saddened and shocked to the hear news about Anthony, but he's got our full support and we'll be with him every step of the way. When the players were informed of the situation the reaction was 'what can we do to help'?

Club captain Grant Leadbitter said: "Anthony is facing the biggest challenge of his young life and we're all urging him to attack it head on and he has the full support of everyone in the dressing room."

Source: PA


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Middlesbrough pay club-record fee to sign Britt Assombalonga from Forest

Middlesbrough have announced a club-record deal to sign Britt Assombalonga from Nottingham Forest.

The 24-year-old striker has signed for Garry Monk's Championship side despite an injury-hit three years at the City Ground.

Assombalonga is a proven goalscorer in the Championship, having netted 30 times in 47 league starts since signing for £5.5million in 2014.

However, persistent injuries have held back his progress, with a serious knee injury ruling him out for much of the 2015-16 season, but he signed a new five-year deal last summer after proving his fitness.

Boro have been looking to strengthen their attacking options after managing just 27 goals in the Premier League last season and claimed they beat off competition from top-tier clubs to sign the striker.

Assombalonga told the club's website: "I can't wait to meet the manager and get ready for next season. There's a good feeling around the place. From the minute I walked in it felt right."

He added: "I want to thank the Forest fans for being behind me, especially after my injury.

"They gave me a chance in the Championship and I want to say thanks to them and wish them all the best for the season."

A Forest spokesman said on the club's website: " Middlesbrough outbid various other clubs to sign Britt Assombalonga. As a club we felt that since the fee agreed met the buyout clause in his contract and he wanted to move it would be wrong to stand in his way."

Source: PA


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Former Middlesbrough frontman Massimo Maccarone joins Brisbane Roar

Former Middlesbrough striker Massimo Maccarone has signed for Australian side Brisbane Roar.

The 37-year-old, a former Italy international, left Empoli following their relegation from Serie A last season and will be the Roar's marquee player for the A-League 2017/18 campaign.

Maccarone, who played for Boro between 2002 and 2007, is set to become the second Italian to play in the A-League following former Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero.

Brisbane head coach John Aloisi told the club's official website: "We are pleased and excited to welcome a player of Massimo's calibre to Brisbane

"His playing career is impressive and we are confident that Massimo's experience at the highest level will strengthen our already talented squad."

Source: PA


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Jonny Howson on verge of joining Middlesbrough from Norwich

Middlesbrough have won the race to sign Jonny Howson from Norwich, Press Association Sport understands.

The midfielder, who has turned down a new contract at Carrow Road, is set to become Boro boss Garry Monk's first major signing at the Riverside as he bids to get the Teesside club back in the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Leeds-born Howson is keen to move closer to home in Yorkshire, having left Elland Road to join the Canaries in 2012.

Former club Leeds had been interested in re-signing the 29-year-old but, barring any late hitches, Middlesbrough appear poised to reach agreement for a player Norwich value close to £5million.

The Canaries were reluctant to let Howson go but need to sell to raise funds for new signings following last season's failure to earn an immediate return to the top flight.

Howson has made 188 appearances for the Norfolk club and was named their player of the year in 2016.

Norwich are also close to selling Graham Dorrans to Rangers for £1.5million as they revamp their squad.

Boss Daniel Farke, who was appointed in May, has so far signed midfielder Mario Vrancic, winger Marley Watkins and defender Christoph Zimmermann.

Yanic Wildschut, who only joined from Wigan in January, Michael McGovern and Matt Jarvis are surplus to requirements at Carrow Road.

Source: Football.co.uk

Garry Monk's first home game in charge of Boro to be televised

Garry Monk's first home game in charge of Middlesbrough against Sheffield United will be broadcast live after the EFL announced the latest batch of televised games.

Former Leeds boss Monk was appointed Boro's new manager this summer and be in the dugout for the club's Championship opener at Wolves before Chris Wilder's Blades visit the Riverside at 5:30pm on August 12.

Six days later midlands rivals Burton and Birmingham will meet in a Friday night clash that the Sky Sports cameras will be at, while they will also broadcast Leeds' visit to Sunderland the following evening as Simon Grayson welcomes his former team to his new home.

Bristol City's Friday night clash with Aston Villa on August 25 will also be on TV, as will five games across the Championship and League One in September.

Bradford's League One lunchtime encounter with Bristol Rovers on September 2 has been selected for coverage during the international break along with Fleetwood's visit to Blackburn and Rotherham's trip to Portsmouth on Sunday, September 3.

Viewers will be also be able to watch Derby versus Hull on Friday, September 8 and Sheffield Wednesday's home game with Nottingham Forest on the evening of Saturday September, 9.

Source: Football.co.uk

600 appearances for Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry notched up his 600th appearance in the Premier League today with his side 3-1 win over Middlesbrough. He is now nine behind Frank Lampard and 32 appearances behind Ryan Giggs, and seems likely he will inevitably grace the No.2 position by the end of the season, barring injury.

Everton went down early to a goal which appeared to be a foul on Steklenberg but which was bizarrely given by the ref, after Negrado had clashed into the keeper nudging the ball from his hands into the net.

Koeman said later "“We needed the mistake of the referee because after that we were more aggressive”. “The start was not good, but after that we saw the Everton we expect.”

Gareth Barry marked his 600th appearance with a goal 3 minutes later. Coleman got the second after a neat one two, and Lukaku deftly brushed the ball with his laces into the net for the third, after a Yannick Bolasie cross.

Islam Slimani got a dream debut at the King Power Stadium with a brace on the 46th and 48th minute as Leicester beat Burnley 3-0. The £29m signing known as the 'Dragon Slayer' for scoring goals againsts rivals Porto. Riyad Mahrez was also excellent as a cross from him forced Ben Mee to turn it into his own net.

Kevin De Bruyne was brilliant today as Man City took Bournemouth apart in a 4-0 win at The Etihad. Goals from De Bruyne, Iheanacho, Sterling, and Gündogan sealed the visitors fate as the City side looked polished. Guardiola said later regarding City's new found vigour and that they started last season in similar fashion

“We will not think it is easy because I am here. I have heard for a long time that the Premier League is the toughest so we know that it is September and we have won nothing.”

It remains to be seen how they will cope through winter as the fixtures start stacking up.

West Ham seem to be having opposing problems as the rails seem to have well and truly come off their premier league hopes. Down 4-0 at half time and with a consolation recovery in the second half with goals from Lanzini and Antonio again, which bizarrely puts Antonio the head of the goal scoring table tonight. West Brom had only managed six goals in 13 Premier League matches and not scored four in a Premier League match for two years. In another bizarre stat they only had 25% possession yet Chadli, bought for 13m from Spurs, on his home debut managed a brace, with Rondon and McClean grabbing the others in some of the worst defending experienced. Tony Pulis was not available for comment afterwards which is only furthering recent speculation of his departure.

Arsenal carried on their run with a 4-1 win away to Hull City. Hull’s game plan has worked well under Mike Phelan, who remains caretaker manager despite the offer of a permanent contract last week, with 9 men behind the ball soaking up the pressure, but Arsenal are a dangerous side to relentlessly soak up this kind of pressure. Particularly as Hull went down to 10 men with Livermore sent off. Arsenal with over 60% possession soon took control with a shot from Iwobi glancing off Sanchez. Arsenal should have gone 2 up but Sanchez's penalty was saved. A discussion needed on who takes penalty's as this is not Sanchez's first miss. A one two with Iwobi had Walcott chipping the keeper to make it two. A shot blocked from Walcott had Sanchez tapping in the rebound which should by all rights have been his hat-trick. Dieumerci Mbokani was brought down by Cech which resulted in a Hull penalty which enabled Snodgrass to provide a lesson in taking penalties to Sanchez. A 30 yard strike from Granit Xhaka sealed their doom deep into injury time.

On Friday night Chelsea lost to Liverpool who were at their Klopp best for their meeting at the Bridge. Chelsea were a demure side in the first half and gave themselves too much to do in the second. The first goal was typical of Liverpool's eagerness to win. Coutinho took a short free kick to Milner. He then passed back to Coutinho on the left wing who then crossed the ball to the back post. With the Chelsea defenders all running to the near post leaving 4 Liverpool shirts at the back post and Dejan Lovren to head in past Courtois. Willian and Hazard were isolated, Costa barely got more than one touch each time he had the ball. Chelsea's signing from Leicester Kante, seemed the only one in midfield in grabbing hold of the game but thats no good when his fellow players seem devoid of ideas. The second goal sealed their fate with a weak clearance from Cahill that fell to Henderson 25 yards out whose strike beat Courtois mainly because of his poor position after the previous attack. Chelsea got their consolation through some excellent work by Matic who received a previously played ball from Hazard, skipped past Matip and Lallana on the byline and crossed to Costa who belted it in from close range. They never looked liked they would get a second. Conte will rue some of his decisions and in particular his substitutions which he didn't make until 70 minutes and brought all three on at once in Fabregas, Pedro and Moses. He left his second striker on the bench in Michy Batshuayi. Abromovich will be thinking!

 

Adam Clayton signs four-year deal with Middlesbrough

This afternoon, Adam Clayton had put pen to paper on a four year contract with Middlesbrough after a very spell season with Huddersfield last season in the Championship.

The fee for the highly rated midfielder is thought to have been around £1.5 million in a player exchange deal with Jacob Butterfield.

The former Huddersfield man was being tracked by a number of clubs after winning the player of the year award last season, however Middlesbrough have won the race for his signature.

During a two year spell at Huddersfield, Adam Clayton has endured a very successful spell, making 94 appearances and scoring 12 goals as well as helping his team to prevent relegation for two successive seasons.

Clayton is Boro's sixth signing this summer and is surely going to prove to be a very useful addition to a very promising squad who will definitely be towards the top of the table come the end of the season.

Burnley to sign Lucas Jutkiewicz for £2.5m

Burnley look set to complete the signing of Lucas Jutkiewicz from Middlesbrough for around £2.5m today in the hope of bolstering their squad for the start of their Premier League campaign.

Another protege from the Saints Academy who after various clubs joined Middlesbrough in January 2012. As a striker he scored 11 goals in 65 appearances. On loan to Bolton in the last season he scored 7 in 20 appearances.

It remains to be seen where he will fit in given the current strike partnership up front.