Lita seals Boro switch

Southgate swoops for released Reading striker

Lita: Boro switch

Lita: Boro switch

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Striker Leroy Lita has joined Middlesbrough on a free transfer and has signed a three-year contract.

The former England Under 21 international arrives at the Riverside as a free agent following his release by Reading at the end of last season.

Boro boss Gareth Southgate is eager to improve his striking options ahead of the new Championship season with Afonso Alves and Tuncay expected to follow Mido out of the exit door following relegation from the Premier League.

Representatives of the North East club held talks with Lita's agent and the striker has successfully come through a medical.

Sheffield United, who Boro face in the opening match of the new Championship season on Friday night, were also interested in the 24-year-old.

But Lita has elected to join Southgate's men, although it remains to be seen whether he will be fit enough to feature in Friday's clash, live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1.

Fresh start

After falling out of favour at Reading, Lita is relishing the opportunity to kick-start his career and revealed he had been a long-term target of Southgate's.

He told Sky Sports News: "I feel good, I'm really looking forward to this challenge, it's a fresh start for me.

"I've wanted this for a long time now and the manager here has been after me for a while. I'm just looking forward to playing for Middlesbrough, scoring goals and helping the team achieve what they want.

"To finally get here and move on from Reading, I feel like a different person.

"It's been frustrating. I made it clear that I was trying to get away from Reading and the club wouldn't let me go.

"I had to go out on loan a couple of times to get games because I didn't just want to train and not play. I showed people I'm a good player, and I always thought it was time for me to move on."

Mido

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough have confirmed that Egypt international Mido has returned to his homeland on a season-long loan deal with Zamalek.

The Egyptian club announced the move on Friday, with a deal agreed which will see the switch made permanent next summer if all parties are in agreement.

Mido moved to the Riverside from Tottenham in summer 2007 but struggled for form, fitness and discipline and ended last season out on loan with Wigan.