Middlesbrough splash the cash to snare hitman Rhodes

Blackburn Rovers' Jordan Rhodes has landed a big money move to Middlesbrough.Blackburn Rovers' Jordan Rhodes has landed a big money move to Middlesbrough.
Blackburn Rovers' Jordan Rhodes has landed a big money move to Middlesbrough.
JORDAN RHODES completed his switch to Middlesbrough on Monday night as all three of Yorkshire's promotion hopefuls in the Championship marked the closing of the transfer window with a high-profile signing.

The former Huddersfield Town striker’s move from Blackburn Rovers was the standout deal of deadline day in the Football League with Boro paying £9m upfront with a further £3m or so potentially due in add-ons.

But Hull City’s loan capture of Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell and the switch of Everton’s Republic of Ireland international Aiden McGeady to Sheffield Wednesday also represented notable pieces of business in the final hours of the January window.

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It leaves the White Rose trio well placed to push on in the quest for the Premier League, with the Tigers and Boro sitting first and second respectively in the table and the Owls able to reclaim a play-off place on Tuesday night when Carlos Carvalhal’s men take on Burnley tonight.

Certainly, Hull manager Steve Bruce was a content man last night after not only signing Powell on loan for the rest of the season but also adding Legia Warsaw goalkeeper Dusan Kuciak to his squad.

With the Tigers also holding on to all their star names, which included fighting off late interest in Sone Aluko from a number of Championship rivals, the 55-year-old admits to being delighted with how the window panned out in the East Riding.

“We have got a really good squad,” said the City chief. “Well balanced and fit for the run-in. When you look at it, we have got a very, very good squad of 24 or so players.

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“Every week, we have got experienced players who are struggling to even make the bench. I am very happy with what we have got.”

Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal was equally pleased when the 11pm deadline expired, having made McGeady his final signing of a window that also saw the long-term futures of Gary Hooper, Barry Bannan, Jack Hunt, Glenn Loovens, Sam Hutchinson and Atdhe Nuhiu settled.

“I only wanted to bring players in who can improve the team,” said the Owls chief, who yesterday let Rhoys Wiggins join Bournemouth in a £200,000 deal as Sergio Bus moved on loan to Serie B side Salernitana in Italy. “He (McGeady) brings extra quality. And he is a player I know very, very well. When he was at Glasgow Celtic, I was coach of Sporting Lisbon and I tried to sign him. He will help us in the second half of the season.”

Wednesday winger Ross Wallace, a former team-mate of McGeady at Celtic, believes the Hillsborough squad is now capable of making a concerted push for the top six.

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“With Barry Bannan, (Fernando) Forestieri, myself and Kieran Lee as well,” he added, “we have a few little guys who play one-twos and try and get on the ball. Aiden and Hoops (Gary Hooper) coming in now gives us real quality going forward.

“It is exciting times and we are looking very strong going forward. We certainly have enough to cause teams problems.”

Boro’s successful capture of Rhodes after a lengthy pursuit helped take spending in the January window by English clubs to £170m-plus. In total, the 20 Premier League clubs have spent a combined £1bn this season.

Rhodes’ arrival at the Riverside was good news for Huddersfield Town, who sold the Scotland striker to Blackburn for £8m in a deal that also included a sell-on clause guaranteeing 20 per cent of any profit.

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The Terriers brought in Brighton & Hove Albion forward Elvis Manu on loan and recalled Jordy Hiwula from his stint at Wigan Athletic, while elsewhere in the Championship Grant Ward extended his stay at Rotherham United from Tottenham Hotspur until the end of the current season.

The county’s four League One clubs were also busy yesterday, the activity ranging from Barnsley bringing in FC Halifax Town’s highly-rated striker Shaun Tuton and extending the loans of Kevin Long and Josh Brownhill through to notable departures at Bradford City, Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers.

Gary Liddle, the subject of an unsuccessful bid from Carlisle United last week, departed Valley Parade for Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee.

City plan to bring in a replacement midfielder, believed to be once the emergency window opens next week, the club last night making Jamie Proctor’s switch from Fleetwood Town permanent to free up a loan space.

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At Bramall Lane, Michael Higdon and Conor Dimaio headed through the exit door, the latter to join Chesterfield, as Rob Jones and Gary MacKenzie did the same at the Keepmoat.

Jones, caretaker manager of Rovers earlier this season, was released after three-and-a-half years, while MacKenzie joined Notts County.