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Page last updated at 13:49 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Stephen McManus joins Middlesbrough on loan from Celtic

Celtic defender Stephen McManus
McManus has made 14 Celtic appearances this season

Celtic have agreed to let captain Stephen McManus go on loan to Championship club Middlesbrough.

The clubs had initially struggled to agree on a loan fee, but a deal has now been reached and the 27-year-old will now be re-united with Gordon Strachan.

Scotland defender McManus has not always been first choice under Tony Mowbray, who succeeded Strachan as Celtic manager in the summer.

Mowbray has already signed two central defenders during January.

McManus becomes Strachan's fourth recruit from his former club during January, following midfielders Barry Robson and Willo Flood, plus striker Chris Killen to Boro.

Mowbray had, meanwhile, signed Jos Hooiveld from AIK Stockholm for about £2m, while Thomas Rogne arrived after his contract ended with Stabaek.

But the Celtic manager had indicated on Tuesday that he was not resigned to losing McManus, despite Strachan's assertion that the player was "desperate to come" to Middlesbrough.

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"If he doesn't go he will be competing to be in the team and I wouldn't put it past Stephen to see him at the heart of our defence for the rest of the season," said Mowbray, who this month gave a debut to summer recruit Josh Thompson.

"I will put on record what a fantastic man he is and what a fantastic player he has been for this club and if this deal doesn't happen he will be back on the training ground and striving to get himself in the team.

"He is a great leader of men and they are in shortage.

"I have just brought in two young centre-halves recently, I have brought in Jos Hooiveld, who is left-footed, and I have Darren O'Dea back from Reading."

Strachan was keen to be reunited with the player he made Celtic skipper in 2007.

"It has been well documented that Stephen is a big favourite of mine and he can't get a game at Celtic," Strachan told BBC Tees.



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see also
Celtic defender Fox joins Burnley
29 Jan 10 |  Burnley
McManus & Fox may stay - Mowbray
26 Jan 10 |  Celtic
Celtic trio complete Boro switch
13 Jan 10 |  Middlesbrough
Mowbray considers captain change
05 Jul 09 |  Celtic
McManus named new Celtic captain
31 Jul 07 |  Celtic


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