Espanyol announce sale of Christian Stuani to Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough FC Crest

The Uruguayan international will head to the Riverside Stadium, after bidding farewell to his colleagues at Espanyol next week.

Uruguayan international Christian Stuani is now guaranteed to complete a move to Middlesbrough, after Espanyol officially announced that an "agreement in principal" has been agreed with the Championship club, via their official website on Wednesday evening.

Although no fee was announced by Espanyol in their statements, there was reference to 50% of his economic rights being retained by Italian side Reggiana. However, recent reports from the South Shields Gazette estimated that Middlesbrough will pay around €4 million (£2.8 million) for the 28-year-old forward.

Operating centrally as a striker and from wide areas during his three seasons with Espanyol, Stuani has made a total of 117 appearances, scoring 29 goals. Fifteen of those were struck during the 2014-15 campaign, his most impressive to date with the Catalan club.

Popular with the fans, who will undoubtedly be disappointed to see Stuani leave, further sales and departures were seemingly inevitable for Espanyol, given their current financial difficulties and debts.

In what will be regarded as somewhat of a coup by Middlesbrough fans, the signing of Stuani comes after Spanish coach Aitor Karanka reportedly spoke directly with the player, encouraging his move to the Riverside Stadium. Even though the club remain in the second-tier of English football, having failed to win promotion via the play-offs last season.

The capture of a renowned international like Stuani can certainly be regarded as a very clear signal, that Middlesbrough fully intend on ensuring that by the end of the 2015-16 season in the Championship, they'll have successfully secured promotion to the Premier League.

Along with his wealth of widely recognised international experience with Uruguay, certainly Middlesbrough will also welcome his extensive top-flight experience in Spain, following previous spells with Racing Santander, Levante and Albacete.

Middlesbrough are currently in the midst of pre-season at the Marbella Football Center in southern Spain, but Stuani isn't expected to link up with his new team until they return to England. Espanyol announcing that next week, he will say his farewells in Barcelona, before departing for England.

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