Spanish international Gaizka Mendieta has joined English Premiership side Middlesbrough FC on a one-season loan from S.S. Lazio.
"Gaizka Mendieta has joined Middlesbrough on a year's loan from Lazio and all parties have agreed the initial deal will then be extended for a further four years at the end of the season," said a club spokesman.
"We're absolutely delighted to have signed Gazika," said Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren. "We have worked extremely hard and beaten a lot of other clubs to bring to Middlesbrough a truly top-quality player."
Pay cut accepted
The 29-year-old midfield player joined Lazio from Valencia CF two seasons ago but after failing to impress with the Rome club he was loaned to FC Barcelona last season. He was unable to do enough to earn a long-term deal with the Catalan club and returned to Lazio where he accepted a pay cut in exchange for a contract extension until 2008.
Mendieta, part of the Spain squad which reached the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup last year, was an influential part of the Valencia side which reached successive UEFA Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001.
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