WELL, that was a long night on radar watch and ringing up various national air traffic control centres demanding updates of all Transatlantic flights leaving Latin America. Bleary-eyed but lets do this….
Uruguayan Boro target Carlos De Pena is mid-air and Teesside-bound through one of a dozen possible routes, with or without permission of his club Nacional (but with a nod from the owners of the other half of his economic rights ) after making a break for freedom from the airport and being involved in a car crash that may have just been an unfortunate accident or – depending on which garbled Babelfish translation you believe – may have been “staged” … which sounds like a great cover so he could nip into the nearby British Hospital for a sneaky swift medical. It’s like a decent spy/conspiracy thriller.
He had been due to board a flight from Montevideo for a convoluted route to Teesside and was stuck kicking his heels in departures while the deal thrashed out at Rockliffe over the weekend by a visiting delegation – Leo acting as chest-beating interpreter was fine-tuned. But then the players was left frustrated as Nacional chiefs back home said Boro’s offer failed to meet their valuation and poor Carlos he was told to cancel and return to base. After that things get a bit confusing amid a white noise of competing local sports scribes who seem to have live tweeted in comedy gold mistranslations his every move.
What we do know is he is now involved in a race against time to get to Rockliffe to sign the papers and complete a deal while Boro remotely push through an inter-continental fait accompli on a deal valued at about $3m before he lands. Meanwhile anxious Boro fans will monitor the skies and keep their eyes peeled at Heathrow arrivals for a grumpy red faced old Scotsman with a Manchester United blazer and a Diego Forlan mask.
“Come in Condor…. come in Condor… this is Teesside control calling…. ”
Hot property De Pena is half owned by Nacional who don’t want to sell their star man and half owned by a powerful group run by Paco Casal, a former Atletico Madrid player and the biggest football agent in Uruguay who also runs his own sports cable network. Generally he gets his way in Uruguayan football. That’s in Boro’s favour but now they need a good tailwind and to avoid any wildcat action by French air traffic control and any hold-ups at the carousel . God speed.
Welcome to the deadline day blog where all is ploddingly routine. It makes the possible looming brinkmanship over wantaway winger Albert Adomah look positively dull….
***There’s even more bells and whistle, photos, jokes and recipes and kind of yellow-tied hyperbole over on the Gazette’s dedicated live blog. Read it here.
Meanwhile in other news, perma-furious ginger football bouncer Sean Dyche is simmering as well-wadded Boro and Derby run around in mad abandon throwing money in the air like a drunken sailor on shore leave while poor bedraggled breadline Burnley* smash the kids piggy-bank, pathetically counting the pennies amid the debris to see if they can afford a measly Bobby Zamora or so.
(*Burnley earned £65m in parachute payments for their recent loan move to the Premier League and last week spend NINE MILLION POUNDS on Andre Grey and also opted to pick up the wages of football’s self-appointed philosopher-king Joey Barton.)
Elsewhere, that sound you can hear is axes grinding as Jacob Butterfield closes in on a £3.5m move to Derby – which is of course SEVEN times what Boro got when he moved to Huddersfield. You can sense the seething now about how short-sighted Boro are and how he “could do a job.”
But Butterfield – nice lad, tidy footballer, good distribution – didn’t quite fit in Aitor Karanka’s rigid 4231 system. He wasn’t quite right for one of the two holding roles and wasn’t quite fast enough and didn’t have the natural attacking instincts to play as one of the front three. Right player, wrong time. It happens.
And he was one of the chips that helped Boro get Adam Clayton so it’s not all bad news.
Yes, you look at the price-tag and that rankles a bit (and who knows, we may have a sell-on clause as one of the add-ons in the deal) but injury ravaged Derby are desperate, its deadline day and the market, even in the cash-strapped Championship, has gone crazy. Sometimes you just have to take it on the chin. And it does annoy Dyche.Almost as much as that perfectly good goal against Boro did in 1997 when he was at Chesterfield.
Elsewhere, purveyors of the popular “typical Boro, they can they never do a bloody transfer right” meme will be delighted to know that that the two biggest clubs in the world have completely faxed up – or “Whelaned” as we call it on the sports desk – a £29m deal they have been working on for two months.