Ricketts seals late Boro move

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MIDDLESBROUGH completed a last-gasp deal with Bolton for Michael Ricketts, with the striker penning a deal just minutes before the January transfer window closed.

Boro insisted they had agreed a fee with Bolton earlier in the day, but confusion clouded the issue when The Trotters denied striking a deal.

However, planetfootball understood the deal was always likely to go through and so it proved as Bolton finally agreed a package and Ricketts inked a contract late on Friday.

A statement issued by Bolton on their website read: "Michael Ricketts has ended his association with Bolton Wanderers by signing for Premiership rivals Middlesbrough.

"The Wanderers top scorer, who handed in a transfer request just over a week ago, put pen-to-paper with the Riverside club at 11.30pm this evening."

The deal is worth £3.5 million plus a percentage of profits to Bolton, while it takes Boro`s captures on the day to three following the earlier arrivals of Malcolm Christie and Chris Riggott from Derby.

Bolton went some way to offsetting the loss of Ricketts by capturing Pierre-Yves Andre and Florent Laville to his squad from Nantes and Lyon respectively.

The move of Andre to the Reebok ends a day of confusion, as Lille announced they had signed him earlier in the day only for Nantes to deny this and say he was on his way to Bolton.

The striker travelled to Lancashire and signed minutes before the closure of the deadline.

The move for centre back Laville also appeared to have floundered, but the defender made the trip across the Channel and signed a similar loan deal to Andre, also with moments to spare before the window slammed shut.