Boro agree deal for West Ham striker

Ashley Fletcher
Ashley Fletcher

Middlesbrough have agreed a deal to sign promising young striker Ashley Fletcher from West Ham.

The 21-year-old forward, who came through the youth academy at Manchester United, would become Garry Monk’s seventh signing of the summer and give the Boro manager a wealth of attacking options ahead of the new season.

Fletcher has reportedly left West Ham’s pre-season training camp in Germany and is expected to arrive at Rockliffe to complete his medical.

After reports broke on Wednesday evening over a potential transfer, the club confirmed today that a deal has been reached with the Hammers.

Earlier in the summer, Fletcher insisted that he wanted to stay at West Ham and fight for his place.

"I started my pre-season early and have done extra training to make sure I’m up for the challenge," said the striker.

However, following the signings of Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautović, it is unlikely Fletcher would receive much first-team football by staying at the London Stadium.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic only signed Fletcher last summer, when the striker joined from United on a four-year deal.

Fletcher made 20 appearances for the Hammers in all competitions, scoring once against United in the EFL Cup.

The striker also scored nine goals in 26 appearances while on loan at Barnsley in 2016.

That season, Fletcher helped the Tykes win promotion to the Championship, scoring at Wembley against Millwall in the League One play-off final.

Should all run smoothly, Fletcher will have a fight on his hands to become a regular at the Riverside, with Patrick Bamford, Rudy Gestede, Martin Braithwaite and record signing Britt Assombalonga all fighting for places.

Boro have also brought in Jonny Howson, Cyrus Christie, Darren Randolph and Connor Roberts on loan, making them the Championship's biggest spenders.