Middlesbrough have completed the signing of Gary O'Neil from Portsmouth for a fee believed to be £5m.
O'Neil was the Pompey fans player of the year in 2006
"I didn't think he would be available but he has now become available for various reasons at Portsmouth," said Boro boss Gareth Southgate.
"He's somebody I've been an admirer of for some time," added Southgate.
O'Neil, 24, started out as a trainee at Pompey and only signed a new five-year deal with the Fratton Park outfit in July 2006.
He made his debut for the club at 16 against Barnsley and had been a first-team regular for the past few seasons.
But Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp's need to raise money to complete other deals saw O'Neil being allowed to leave and the right-sided midfielder has been snapped up by Southgate.
Redknapp signed Glen Johnson and Papa Bouba Diop on transfer deadline day.
"I attempted to sign him when I first got this job this time last year and I tried again earlier this summer but I really didn't think we were going to be able to get him," said Southgate.
"But Harry Redknapp needed some money to buy another player he wants and that's worked in our favour."