Middlesbrough are reportedly close to completing a significant transfer swoop for Argentina youngster Martin Payero, according to reporter German Garcia Grova.
In a move that has seemingly come entirely out of the left field, Payero looks set to move to Teesside in an $8 million deal from Banfield, who would also obtain a 10% sell-on clause for the midfielder.
The deal is expected to be done once the Olympic Games in Tokyo are over, with Payero called up to Argentina’s preliminary squad for the tournament despite only playing in 60 professional games.
After returning on loan from league rivals Talleres de Cordoba, Payero became a regular fixture for Banfield, playing 10 times in Argentina’s top league but also in the Copa Diego Maradona.
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Payero is a central midfielder and if the deal goes through then it looks like he could replace George Saville, who after nearly three years as a Boro player looks set to return to his former club Millwall on a permanent basis.
This potential deal has come completely out of the blue and it would be a real surprise to see Boro spend so much money on a player – although there is some confusion as to whether the $8 million figure is actually in US dollars – which would equate to £5.8 million, or Argentinian pesos which would be just £60,000.
Due to his call-up to Argentina’s under-23’s you’d imagine it’s the higher figure, in which case it would be a massive investment for Boro and Steve Gibson to make.
Judging by his performances in the Copa Diego Maradona – a cup competition in Argentina – for Banfield, where he created five goals in six outings (transfermarkt), Payero will be a creative player for Boro and it will be interesting to see how his form translates to the English game.
Middlesbrough have had success with South American players before and Payero could be the latest in that line to make an impact at the Riverside.