Neil Warnock explains why he wanted to sign Uche Ikpeazu for Middlesbrough

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Uche Ikpeazu’s ‘dedication and desire’ to do well for Middlesbrough impressed Neil Warnock as he becomes the third signing of the summer.

The 26-year-old completed the formalities of his move ahead of the start of pre-season training after Boro agreed a deal with Wycombe for his services. He has signed a three-year contract.

The fee is reported to be worth £1m in total but that includes various add-ons.

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Boro boss Neil Warnock said: “I’ve always liked Uche back to when he was at Hearts and I watched him a few times.

Chris Mepham of AFC Bournemouth in action with Uche Ikpeazu of Wycombe Wanderers.Chris Mepham of AFC Bournemouth in action with Uche Ikpeazu of Wycombe Wanderers.
Chris Mepham of AFC Bournemouth in action with Uche Ikpeazu of Wycombe Wanderers.

"He looks raw at times but he’s so keen and dedicated wherever he plays and I think the fans will really get behind him because he’s such a 100% player.

“I was really impressed in my meetings with him with his dedication and desire to do well for Middlesbrough.

"I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

A Boro statement added: “Ikpeazu scored against Boro at Adams Park last season with a terrific strike and he was Wycombe’s leading goalscorer in a campaign that ultimately saw them relegated from the Championship on the final day of the season, their fate sealed, ironically, at the Riverside.”

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The striker was a product of Reading’s Academy before he went on to join Watford.

Loan spells with Crewe, Doncaster, Port Vale, and Blackpool all followed before a two-season spell at Cambridge produced 22 goals in 80 appearances.

Meanwhile, Boro are also said to be one of several Championship clubs who are keeping tabs on Rotherham midfielder Matt Crooks.

The 27-year-old also has a year left on his contract but is clearly attracting interest following the Millers’ relegation to League One.

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According to The Rotherham Advertiser, several Championship clubs, including Boro, Derby and Peterborough, are tracking the player but are yet to make a serious move.

The same report states that Ipswich have made an initial bid of around £400,000 for Crooks but that is way below Rotherham’s valuation.

Boro are also understood to be interested in Rotherham striker Michael Smith.

Warnock is aiming to build a squad capable of challenging for promotion after last season’s disappointing end.

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