Record Signing!-Boro break the bank to bring in Afonzo Alves
By Elise Brunton
Friday 01 Feb 2008 14:37:34
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After weeks of speculation and work permit frustration, Southgate has finally got his man. Brazilian international striker Afonzo Alves signed a four year deal for Boro in last nights deadline day scramble.


Boro paid Dutch side Heerenveen an undisclosed fee (thought to be around 12.7 million pounds) for Alves, making him the record signing in the club’s history.


Speaking to the club’s official website, Boro Chairman Steve Gibson, said: “This is a massive signing for the club, it shatters our previous transfer record.”


He also confirmed that Boro had tried to bring Fred to the club, saying: “It's important people know that we didn't just go for just Alves, we went for Fred too.


“If the right player comes along we will invest in this squad, but players have to fit in with our culture.”


Despite passing his medical and agreeing terms with Boro earlier in the week, Boro had to appeal to get Alves his work permit at a hearing in London yesterday, and are still awaiting international clearance from the Dutch FA which could postpone his Boro debut.


Alves was spotted in the crowd at Boro’s win against Wigan last Tuesday (the day before his 27th birthday) and Southgate believes watching his prospective team mates sealed Alves’ decision to join Boro.


Southgate said: “He was very impressed with how we played against Wigan, not only in terms of our attacking in the first half but how we defended after that. What he saw only encouraged him to sign.


“There's been some other clubs trying to get in on the deal but he wants to be here.


"He wanted to play in the English league and he feels that having watched us play the style of our play will suit him and he feels he can make a difference.


“He is very keen to come, he wants to play for Middlesbrough and score goals for Middlesbrough” (club’s official website)



Some facts about Aves:


  • Born in Belo Horizonte, Alves began his career in Brazil with Atletico Miniero before moving to Sweden with Gothenburg-based Orgryte in 2002. He won the Swedish league title with Malmo in 2004.


  • In 2006-07, he was the Dutch top flight’s player of the year and top scorer with 34 goals in 31 league gamesHe made his international debut in a friendly against England in June 2007 and has since won seven further caps for his country.


  • The striker scored 45 goals in 38 league games for Heerenveen after signing from Swedish side Malmo for £3 million during the summer of 2006.  This season he had added another 11 goals in just seven games, including seven in a 9-0 win over Heracles.

It is thought Alves will be officially unveiled as a Boro player at a press conference sometime next week.










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