‘Kike insisted on Eibar’

Eibar have signed Middlesbrough striker Kike after it was confirmed the deal was completed before Monday’s transfer deadline.

The Basques’ official website reveals Eibar approached Middlesbrough on Monday afternoon and were rebuffed, only to be told later that the deal could be done if the offer was raised.

Eibar duly responded and registered their part of the transfer with FIFA’s Transfer Matching System at 23:43, some 17 minutes before the deadline

Middlesbrough eventually did likewise, after Eibar, and the move has since been ratified, though Eibar haven’t confirmed the price.

“It’s great news that he’s our player until 2019,” Eibar sporting director Fran Garagarza said.

“He wanted to come to Eibar despite offers from other clubs who would pay up to three times what we would. He and his wife have done everything to come here.

“Kike told his club: either I go to Eibar or I stay here.”

Garagarza added that Kike’s capture sealed a successful month for Los Armeros, though he did admit it will be hard to keep Borja Baston, on loan from Atletico Madrid, after this season.

“The club comes out of the winter market stronger. Three signings, three exits of players who wanted to leave, and we didn’t sell Keko,” he noted.

“We’ve maintained our average age and signed the players we wanted.

“We have Sergi [Enrich] and Kike on long contracts and that makes me very calm. We’ll try to keep Borja but we know it will be very difficult.”

Tags Kike Middlesbrough