MIDDLESBROUGH have secured the services of Spanish goalkeeper Tomas Mejias after agreeing a two-year deal to stay at the Riverside Stadium.
Mejias arrived on loan in January from Real Madrid but was unable to impress the fans after dislocating his finger shortly after his one and only appearance against Sheffield Wednesday.
He had been initially signed to replace Shay Given but then Dimi Konstantopoulos made the most of his chance and stayed between the posts until the end of the season, earning a 12-month contract himself.
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But Middlesbrough have taken up the option to sign the player on a permanent basis and, after advanced discussions earlier this week, he has agreed terms over two years.
Mejias was at Real Madrid when Aitor Karanka was Jose Mourinho’s assistant manager at the Bernabeu and is a former Spain Under-21 international.
The 25-year-old only represented Real once and there was little resistance posed by the Champions League winners when Middlesbrough acted to push through the deal.
With Mejias’ future secured, it increases the uncertainty on academy graduate Jason Steele.
Despite allowing Jayson Leutwiler to leave, Karanka has three goalkeepers at his disposal for next season who will all be unhappy with being out of the first team picture.
Steele has previously caught the eye of Premier League clubs having been a part of the England Under-21s and Team GB Olympic squad for the 2012 Games.
With the goalkeeper situation sorted, Karanka knows he must try to fill the gaps in his squad which he feels is in need of addressing. Two new full-backs and a couple of forwards are his priority.