The 22-year-old midfielder, who plays for Argentine club Banfield, isn’t someone you’d expect to be linked with the Teessiders, yet reports from South America late last week claimed a deal had been agreed.
News spread on social media when South American journalist German Garcia Grova tweeted that a deal of $8million (£5.8million) had been agreed between Boro and Banfield.
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Warnock was coy when asked about Payero and joked: “Who? Is he a footballer?’
Still, the Boro boss went on to say the club had been looking at the South American market, helped by Leo Percovich’s contacts, and that the fee they reportedly paid for striker Uche Ikpeazu from Wycombe was overestimated.
“We agreed a deal of over £1million for Uche according to the press,” said Warnock. “If I tell you it’s just over half that amount and the only way they are going to get £1million is if we get promotion, if we stay up the second year and probably if he plays an England game or Nigerian game or something like that. They do get a bit carried away with prices.
“We have looked in Argentina, Brazil because Leo is very good at that, he’s got a lot of contacts as well. We look all over the world.”
Since then, supporters have spotted that Payero has started following Boro’s official Instagram account, fueling the speculation.
Following his original tweet, we got in touch with German to ask about the Payero situation.
You reported last week that Boro had agreed a deal to sign Martin Payero, what sort of player is he?
GGG: “Martin Payero is a young player here who plays for Banfield.
“He’s a box-to-box midfielder who has a great long shot, great vision and he can also dribble with the ball.
“He’s not a defensive midfielder but can play near the defensive midfielder.”
The fee mentioned was $8million (£5.8million) which would be out of Boro’s price range, do you believe those figures to be correct?
GGG: ““That’s the whole liberation fee. The contract of the player and Banfield’s fee. It’s a four-year contract.”
(German later explained he believes the fee would be paid in instalments rather than a one-off sum, yet the initial fee is unknown).
Do you believe there are any other clubs interested in Payero?
GGG: “Boca Juniors and River Plate also want to buy Payero but Banfield told them they want to sell to Europe, not here in Argentina.
“The only offer that Banfield has now is from Middlesbrough.
If so, when could we expect a deal to be completed this summer?
GGG: “I think that maybe not this week, maybe next week everything is going to be ok.
“There are still the lawyers of each club making papers, but I think in maybe seven to 15 days could be the total agreement.”