Villa Finally Secure Middlesbrough Target After Lengthy Chase

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Unai Emery’s Aston Villa side have been unexpectedly very impressive this season, and they are again more than challenging for the European places available at the end of the campaign – even recently being sat in second place and only falling after a small wobble in form.

They have not however been particularly active in the January transfer window when you look at the signings that would be considered first team options, but their long chase for top target, Middlesbrough winger Morgan Rogers, finally came to fruition earlier today.

A deal was eventually struck between the two clubs for a transfer fee said to be £8 million for the 21 year old versatile attacking talent, but with significantly negotiated add ons, the final fee for the deal could rise to £15 million.

Rogers has had a good first half of the season with the Riverside Stadium outfit, scoring seven times and creating nine assists in his 33 games for the Championship side. It is a very good return for the England Under 20 international, as he only joined the club last summer from Manchester City on a four year deal for £1.5 million. Middlesbrough needed to play hardball on the transfer fee though given their arrangement with City included a 25% profit sell on fee, and that explains the three initial bids that were rejected.

Emery was naturally delighted to finally get his man, and no doubt to trim the squad the way he did as there were departures this window as he continues to rebuild them after Stephen Gerrard’s ill fated tenure in charge.

Speaking to the media following their midweek 3-1 defeat to Newcastle United, their gaffer said of the capture of Rogers.

“We are motivated and excited to work with Rogers and hopefully he can progress here like we think he will do.”

The only other incoming activity of note at the Birmingham side was the arrival of Australian keeper Joe Gauci from Adelaide United for an officially undisclosed fee. The 23 year old is currently away with his country at the Asian Cup in Qatar, and his deal is still subject to international clearance and him obtaining a visa. He will join up with the side when their involvement in the tournament comes to an end.

Whilst they saw Jed Steer, Finn Azaz and Bertrand Traore leave on permanent deals, with Leander Dendoncker move to Napoli on a loan deal, their only other incomings were with an eye to the future in the shape of Kosta Nedeljkovic and Lino Sousa

Villa fans will be hoping Rogers can provide the added goal threat they want to carry given their single striker set up to sustain their progress in the second half of the season.

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