Middlesbrough land Derby duo

Middlesbrough FC have signed Derby County FC duo Malcolm Christie and Chris Riggott.

Middlesbrough FC have finally completed the signing of Derby County FC duo Malcolm Christie and Chris Riggott after protracted negotiations. Despite rumours of an initial loan deal, defender Riggott and striker Christie, both England Under-21 players, will join Boro for an initial €4.5m, which could eventually reach €7.6m.

Derby's financial worries
Derby, who were relegated from the Premiership at the end of the 2001/02 season, have been experiencing financial problems which have forced them to sell players. Both the 22-year-old Riggott, a product of the Pride Park youth academy, and the 23-year-old Christie, who joined Derby from non-league Nuneaton Borough FC, had been long-term transfer targets of Boro manager Steve McClaren, a former assistant coach at Derby.

On-pitch problems
After a promising start to the season, Boro have been going through a difficult patch in the league, culminating in the loss of their unbeaten home record on Tuesday when Aston Villa FC won 5-2 at the Riverside stadium.