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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Middlesbrough seal Pogatetz deal
Emanuel Pogatetz
Defender Pogatetz has completed his move to the Riverside
Middlesbrough have completed the signing of Bayer Leverkusen defender Emanuel Pogatetz on a five-year deal.

The 22-year-old passed a medical on Monday ahead of sealing the move for a fee that could rise to 1.8m.

"A dream is coming true. I have wanted to play in the Premier League since I was a young boy," Pogatetz told Middlesbrough's official website.

"But Boro was always the club I wanted to join. Having played against them in the Uefa Cup, I was very impressed."

Pogatetz spent much of last season on loan at Graz AK in Austria and is currently at Spartak Moscow in Russia.

Boro boss Steve McClaren is keen to recruit Pogatetz as cover for French full-back Franck Queudrue in defence.

"Emanuel played against Middlesbrough for Grazer in the two legs of our Uefa Cup tie in February. He stood out and impressed us in both games," he said.

"But I knew about him before that. I first came across him in my role as England coach when he was playing for Austria.

"I saw him a few times while preparing for our World cup game and could see he was a fine player."

The Austrian says he believes the future is bright at the Riverside.

"I want to help Middlesbrough qualify for the Uefa Cup again, but I think it is possible that we can better that position," he said.

"I know that a club like this has to improve every year and I think I can help Middlesbrough do really well next season."

Pogatetz is the club's second signing of the summer, with Nigerian striker Yakubu due to complete his 7.5m switch from Portsmouth on 1 July.

Boro are also reportedly interested in Juventus' Ghanaian midfielder Stephen Appiah.


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