Middlesbrough's hopes of playing Premier League football next season have been given a major boost with the loan signing of Southampton’s Gaston Ramirez.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder has joined from Southampton and becomes the second new arrival of the January transfer window, following Kike Sola into the club.
The Uruguayan international, who cost the Saints £12m from Bologna in 2012 and is experienced in the Premier League, has joined the club on loan until the end of the season.
The Championship outfit have been locked in talks for over a week in an attempt to broker a deal and after fears the deal had fallen through, title-chasing Boro have finally captured the midfielder.
Ramirez is on a reported £60,000-a-week at Premier League Southampton but it is understood he has taken a big cut in wages to join Boro on loan.
And the club's head coach, Aitor Karanka, was delighted to finally land his man.
The Spaniard said: "I am really pleased.
"He is a really good player who knows the league and the country.
"He has international experience and has played in the World Cup.
"He is another good player for us and he is the kind of player who wants to join us and that shows he is committed to us.
"He has played in the Premier League and I think it is important to bring in players with this kind of experience."
Boro are also understood to be still trying to strike a deal for striker Ross McCormack, who is said to be ‘desperate’ to leave Fulham this month.
The 29-year-old has been linked with a big-money move to Boro, with the Teessiders still looking to bolster their forward line.
That deal could go down to the wire, with the transfer window closing at 11pm next Monday but for now, Karanka is delighted to have signed Ramirez, who started his career in his home country with Penarol, played in Serie A with Bologna before joining Southampton.
He has scored eight goals in 55 appearances for the Saints and has featured 48 times for the club in the Premier League.
Last season, Ramirez was on loan at Hull City, where he made 22 Premier League appearances.
He also featured in the 2014 World Cup and claimed an assist for Uruguay’s winning goal against Italy in the group stages.
Southampton's executive director of football, Les Reed, said: "We would like to wish Gastón all the best at Middlesbrough and with the opportunity to play regular first-team football for a club that is pushing for promotion to the Premier League.”