Middlesbrough have completed the signing of Rudy Gestede, who has joined the Premier League club on a contract which runs until 2020.
The Benin international began his career in France with Metz and Cannes, before moving to Cardiff City after impressing during a trial in 2011, and spent three years with the Welsh club before joining Blackburn Rovers. Gestede scored 35 goals in 73 appearances in all competitions for the Ewood Park club, and this caught the attention of Aston Villa.
A fee believed to be in the region of £6million took the 28-year-old to the Midlands club at the start of last season, but he could only notch five times as Villa were relegated from the Premier League. This season he has scored four times in 13 Championship games, but he had fallen out of favour with manager Steve Bruce in recent weeks.
Gestede has recently been linked with both Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion, but it is Middlesbrough who have won the race for his signature after agreeing a reported fee of £6million. The arrival of the 6ft 4in frontman is likely to place doubt over the long-term futures of Jordan Rhodes and David Nugent at the Riverside Stadium.
Aitor Karanka’s side, promoted last season, are currently 16th in the top-flight and four points above the relegation zone.