FORMER Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo is on his way to Middlesbrough to complete a season-long loan move that will give Aitor Karanka the big name striker he has been looking for ahead of the Premier League return.

After a couple of weeks of hard bargaining in negotiations, Boro's chief executive Neil Bausor finally agreed the terms of the loan agreement with Valencia and Negredo is due to follow team-mate Antonio Barragan to the Riverside Stadium.

Both players should be on the trip to Marbella after Saturday's friendly at Doncaster, where Aitor Karanka - who has also won the race to sign Neven Subotic subject to a work permit - already expects to hand Champions League winning goalkeeper Victor Valdes his first outing in a Middlesbrough shirt.

It has not all been good news for Karanka, who has learned his promotion-winning captain Grant Leadbitter will not be available for the start of the season after suffering a set-back following surgery on his hernia in May.

But the imminent arrival of Negredo will get Middlesbrough fans buzzing as a first season back in the Premier League since 2009 approaches.

The 30-year-old's loan is with a view to a permanent deal next summer and a fee in the region of £9m has been agreed between the two clubs.

There was a danger the player who cost Valencia £24m last summer would not be able to get the move he wanted because of a disagreement over how the deal should be structured. Middlesbrough were unwilling to pay all of the weekly wage, of more than £100,000-a-week, which also included bonuses and add-ons.

But Middlesbrough have got there and he will follow Barragan, a full-back, who was already due to fly over to the North-East ahead of finalising a £3m switch and he will sign a three-year deal.

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Work permit: Neven Subotic, pictured, and Gaston Ramirez are waiting for the go-ahead to conclude deals 

The transfer double will take Karanka's summer recruitment drive to seven new players and he still hopes to land Borussia Dortmund's Subotic and a few more.

Subotic, who The Northern Echo exclusively revealed was impressed with what was on offer after he had been shown around and discussed terms with Middlesbrough, has agreed to a switch and a work permit application has gone in ahead of a reported £8m move. 

Leadbitter, meanwhile, has learned he faces a lengthy time on the sidelines because the surgery he had on his hernia in May has not eradicated the problem completely.

The consistent midfielder faces further recovery time and has been warned he is not likely to be available when Middlesbrough begin life in the top-flight against Stoke City on August 13. Karanka knows he has at least completed the £12m signing of defensive midfielder Marten de Roon already.

There are other injury concerns, with Daniel Ayala still battling to shake off the ankle problem which prevented him from facing York City last weekend.

It is hoped attacking midfielder Gaston Ramirez will be back before the start of the campaign and he has admitted he is awaiting the go-ahead to complete a Riverside return.

The Uruguayan playmaker has confirmed he wants to play for Boro next season after a complicated saga which is now in the hands of the Department of Employment.

Ramirez has agreed a three-year contract with Middlesbrough after a successful loan stint helped get the Teessiders over the line in the promotion race.

But he was unable to conclude a quick transfer and start pre-season training with the group because he requires a work permit; that is not as certain as it would have been during his time with Southampton.

The reasons for that are he signed a pre-contract with South American club Penarol in January, therefore voiding his previous work permit when his Southampton deal came to an end on July 1.

Penarol, who have had to register him and did so today, are willing for him to join Middlesbrough but he does not reach the required criteria to gain a straight-forward work permit.

Middlesbrough, however, are confident they can land their man on the basis of ‘exceptional quality’ and have the backing of the Premier League; they are expecting to have to appeal a ‘no work permit’ decision.

“I had a pre-contract signed with Penarol and today formalised that in the AUF,” he said. “Now I’m waiting for what might happen. Most likely I will return to play for Middlesbrough . We are trying to renew the work permit.

“One seeks to play at the best level. I am in contact with (Aitor) Karanka and thinking about a return to the club with who I won promotion to the Premier League last season.”

Full-back James Husband, meanwhile, will be among those not playing at the Keepmoat Stadium. The left-back injured his shoulder last weekend at York and will have surgery on Monday.

Husband, who was keen to make a big impression during pre-season ahead of the Premier League return, suffered the injury in last Saturday’s 6-0 win at York City.

Now it has been confirmed he needs an operation to sort out the injury and he is unlikely to be fit for the start of the campaign.

Tomas Kalas has joined Fulham on loan for the season just days after his agent claimed Middlesbrough were interested in taking him back to Teesside.