Stephen McManus makes £1.5m switch from Celtic to Boro
By Chris McLaughlin and Clive Lindsay
McManus was Celtic captain before leaving for Boro
Stephen McManus' move from Celtic to Middlesbrough has been finalised, with a fee of £1.5m being agreed between the clubs for the Scotland defender.
The 27-year-old has signed a three-year deal with the Championship club after passing a medical on Monday evening.
He had spent the latter part of last season on loan at the Riverside.
"I was lucky to have 12 great years with Celtic. I was sad to go but it was the right time for me to move on," McManus told Middlesbrough's website.
"I had to speak to Celtic first because I was still a Celtic player, but I also spoke with (Boro manager) Gordon Strachan while I was in La Manga and decided this was the right move for me.
"I really enjoyed my time at Middlesbrough last season, everyone's been great with me here right from the off. The manager made it clear to me how much he wanted to come here and in any line of work you want to go where you are most wanted.
"Obviously the signings the club has already made are impressive while it's clear from speaking to him that the manager is ambitious.
"All the lads here are ambitious. This club should be in the Premiership so promotion is the aim.
"The Championship is a tough league but the aim is to go up. It's a big challenge for all of us but one I am looking forward to."
A statement on the Celtic website read: "Everyone at the club offers Stephen and his family their sincere best wishes for the future and thanks him for his great contribution to the club."
McManus, who had been Celtic captain, could be joined at Boro by Rangers midfielder Kevin Thomson, with the English club admitting an interest in the Scotland international.
Boro said they were "not as far down the line" in concluding a deal for the 25-year-old who cost Rangers £2m from Hibernian in 2007.
Strachan this week said he was "nowhere near" finished his dealings in the summer transfer market despite having already secured Scotland striker Kris Boyd from Rangers, midfielder Nicky Bailey from Charlton and winger Andrew Halliday from Livingston.
"We'll keep trying to add and add," he said. "I hope we can make a right few signings over the next few weeks of different types.
"Some will be transfers and some will be loans, I imagine.
"But transfers take a long time and a lot of hard work. We set the ball rolling with Kris and Nicky done this early, but fair play to the chairman and Keith Lamb, they've got two of our main targets nice and early and it's been hard work."
We'll keep trying to add and add
Middlesborough manager Gordon Strachan
Strachan insisted that he would not be extravagant with the club's transfer money.
"There's not much money going around and quite rightly so," he said. "A lot of teams have had a real scare in the last five or six years and people should take note and we're taking note.
"There's not too much money about at present, at Middlesbrough or any of the Football League clubs. If you've got money, you have to use it wisely and I think we've done that."
McManus, a product of Celtic's youth structure who was entering the final year of his contract, did not figure in new Celtic manager Tony Mowbray's plans and was farmed out to Middlesbrough in January.
He made 16 appearances for Boro as they missed out on promotion to the Premier League in England.
However, although Mowbray lost his job in March and his successor, Neil Lennon, has said he would like to see McManus back at Celtic, he has now made the switch permanent.
Celtic have been in talks with former England defender Sol Campbell and are waiting on the 35-year-old, who has also been offered a new contract by Arsenal, to decide his future.
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