Besiktas sign Middlesbrough striker Alvaro Negredo for cut-price €2.5 million deal

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Negredo was relegated with Middlesbrough last season.

Spanish international striker Alvaro Negredo has signed with Istanbul club Besiktas for three years after a disappointing season with English team Middlesbrough, local media reported on Thursday.

Negredo will receive an annual salary of €4.5 million euros, according to sports daily Fanatik.

The daily said Valencia, who had lent the player to Middlesbrough, would receive €2.5 million euros.

The 31-year-old striker is expected to arrive in Istanbul later on Thursday before a medical check while the transfer will be made official on Friday, Fanatik said.

Former Manchester City player Negredo has 21 caps with the Spanish national team.

He had a mixed season at Middlesbrough, scoring nine goals in the Premier League, but was not able to avoid the north-eastern England team’s relegation to the Championship.

The transfer comes a month after the Black Eagles signed Portuguese international defender Pepe on a two-year deal.

For years in the shadow of rival Istanbul teams Fenerbahce and Galatasaray, Besiktas won the Super Lig title for the last two seasons, claiming Turkey’s sole automatic Champions League spot.

Provided by AFP Sport

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Can Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard work together? Former Chelsea star joins ex-Liverpool man at BT Sport

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Struggled playing together: Gerrard and Lampard.

The eternal debate of whether Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard can work together will spill into the commentary box next season – and the men themselves have jokingly stirred the pot.

The midfield pair won a combined 220 England caps but the question of whether their naturally attacking styles were suitable alongside each other was never far away and was often cited as a reason for the Three Lions’ lack of success.

They will be back alongside each other as pundits next season, after BT Sport announced former Chelsea man Lampard would be joining a panel of experts – already featuring Gerrard – for the new season.

“Great signing for our team, wonder if we can work together because we couldn’t play together could we?” Gerrard wrote tongue-in-cheek on his Instagram.

Jamie Carragher replied suggesting it would force Paul Scholes – another of BT Sport’s pundits – into retirement, referencing his premature exit from the international scene amid debate over Gerrard and Lampard.

And Lampard rounded off the jovial exchange with: “Yeah let’s not bring that question up again. Look forward to working with you @stevengerrard. Let’s try not to talk over each other. You go I sit, I sit you go.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 31: Sven Goran Eriksson, the coach of England talks to Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes during a training session at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 31, 2004 in Manchester, England.(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

It just didn’t work: Gerrard, Lampard and Scholes in England midfield.

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John Terry and four other players to watch in the Championship this season

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The new Championship season kicks off on Friday as the race to reach the Premier League begins anew.

Here are five players set to be the talk of the second tier.

JOHN TERRY (ASTON VILLA)

After 22 years at Chelsea, Terry will experience Championship football for the first time since a brief loan spell at Nottingham Forest in 2000.

The 36-year-old was quickly made captain of Villa, and manager Steve Bruce will hope Terry’s know-how can help guide the midlands giants back to the top flight.

Terry’s physical style should make him a Championship natural.

RYAN SESSEGNON (FULHAM)

The talents of the 17-year-old full-back are well known after a brilliant breakthrough season.

Sessegnon scored seven goals in 30 appearances, becoming the youngest Championship goalscorer, and was named by Gazzetta dello Sport as one of the top 30 players in Europe aged under 20.

He rejected interest from top-flight clubs in England and abroad to stay with Fulham.

RUBEN NEVES (WOLVES)

Marked out as one of the brightest young talents in Europe, 20-year-old Neves had a tough time at Porto last term and, with agent Jorge Mendes as deal-maker, has made the somewhat unlikely move to the Championship as the league’s record signing.

The midfielder may find it a steep learning curve but undoubtedly has the skills to make a big impact.

BRITT ASSOMBALONGA (MIDDLESBROUGH)

Middlesbrough splashed out a club-record £14million to sign Assombalonga from Nottingham Forest. The 24-year-old is a proven goalscorer but Forest saw the best of him only in flashes because of injury.

Boro were woefully short of goals last season and it would be a surprise if Assombalonga – fitness permitting – does not prove to be an excellent buy.

KENNETH ZOHORE (CARDIFF)

After unpromising beginnings at Cardiff, Danish striker Zohore enjoyed a fine second half of last season, scoring 11 goals in his last 17 games and finishing as the club’s leading marksman.

The 23-year-old, who is related to Didier Drogba, then scored twice for Denmark in the summer’s European Under-21 Championship and will look to pick up where he left off.

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