MIDDLESBROUGH have completed the signing of teenage defender Harley Hunt from Swindon Town.

Boro beat Premier League clubs Aston Villa and Southampton as well as several Championship rivals to the capture of the highly-rated 16-year-old, who broke into Swindon's first team last season.

Swindon say the fee is undisclosed, though Boro are understood to be paying an initial £500,000 for the centre-half, with further add-ons. Hunt will be able to sign his first professional contract once he turns 17.

Hunt caught the eye of several clubs last season as he played a starring role in helping Swindon to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup, with the Railwaymen stunning Sunderland and Manchester United along the way.

He also made a breakthrough into the first team, making three League Two appearances.


Swindon Town's academy manager Alex Pike said: "Harley has shown huge development in his time with us, especially in the last season as a scholar and he moves on with the club's best wishes and genuine pride in the person he has become with us, and the player he has the potential to become in future if he continues to works hard to make himself better every day."

"Everyone at Swindon Town Academy is proud of his growth and we wish him good luck with his next steps."

In their statement announcing the signing, Middlesbrough said: "Harley was the subject of interest from a number of clubs in the Premier League and Championship, and is now looking forward to the future as a Boro player."