MIDDLESBROUGH are set for a seven-figure financial boost after their former player Martin Braithwaite completed a £17m move to Barcelona this morning.

The Leganes striker Braithwaite was given special permission to join Barca outside of the transfer window because of an injury crisis - even though they still had Lionel Messi available.

And Braithwaite has signed a deal until 2024 and could make his debut on Saturday against Eibar after the release clause was triggered.

His new release clause at Barcelona is now a staggering fee of more than £250m - and Leganes will not be able to sign a replacement.

La Liga gave Barca permission to sign a player from La Liga after losing Ousmane Dembele to injury for the rest of the season. They are also without Luis Suarez.

The same rule does not exist for clubs who lose a player through their release clause.

Barcelona had also shown an interest in Real Sociedad's Willian Jose, Real Betis' Loren Moron, Alaves' Lucas Perez and Getafe's Angel Rodriguez.

Braithwaite only left Middlesbrough permanently last summer for a fee believed to be in the region of £5m. Boro did ensure there was a sell-on clause inserted in those terms, so are set for a chunk of the £17m transfer to Barcelona.

Middlesbrough paid £9m to Toulouse for him in 2017.