BORO have completed the signing of Real Madrid and Cameroon star Geremi on a year’s contract, subject to a successful work permit application.
The club, who were in talks with Geremi’s officials throughout Friday, will have an option to buy the 23-year-old at the end of next season.
The experienced international agreed personal terms and passed a medical on Friday before returning to Spain while Boro apply to the Department of Employment for a work permit.
Capped more than 50 times by his country, Geremi played in all three of Cameroon’s World Cup games, having scored a wonderful free-kick in a 2-2 friendly draw with England shortly before the tournament.
Last season he also helped Cameroon win the African Nations Cup, beating Senegal in the final, and Real Madrid lift the Champions League trophy.
Madrid lifted the Champions League trophy twice during his time with the club, beating Bayern Munich 2-1 in the 2000 final.
Last season he was on target as they again defeated the German side, this time in the quarter-final.
Chief executive Keith Lamb said: « I’m pleased to say Geremi passed a medical and agreed personal terms with us last night and we will now be applying to the DoE for a work permit. »
Manager Steve McClaren, who returned to the club after a family holiday on Friday, hailed the signing of a player he has chased for the last 12 months.
« I’m delighted to have finally signed a player that I first wanted last summer, especially as several other top clubs were interested in him.
« Geremi’s a quality player who can play anywhere in midfield.
« He’s a good athlete, strong and quick. He’s got an excellent footballing pedigree, with great experience at both club and international level.
« We’ve got him from the best team in Europe and, at 23, he’s the right age too. I’m very pleased. »
And McClaren reasserted his aim to add further quality to the Boro squad during the forthcoming weeks.
« We’re continuing to work hard to bring in more players for the new season, » he said.
McClaren and the first team squad fly out Austria on Sunday for a week’s training which will culminate in a friendly game with Serie A side Udinese at Gmunden on Thursday.
However, Geremi will not be able to join his new team-mates until the DoE grant his work permit application.
Chelsea tried to sign Geremi for £7.7m earlier in the summer but the deal fell through due to financial constraints at Stamford Bridge.
He has previously had spells playing in Paraguay and Turkey.