Sheffield Wednesday have smashed their transfer record to sign highly-rated winger Adam Reach on a five-year contract from Middlesbrough for a fee which could be worth up to £7million.
The Owls have been chasing Reach for several months and finally got their man last night after agreeing on an initial £5m deal, plus potential add-ons of £2m.
The move eclipses Wednesday’s previous record purchase when they captured Italian striker Paolo Di Canio from Celtic for £4.5m in 1997.
It is a big statement of intent by Wednesday as they seek to go one better after reaching the Championship Play-Off final last year.
The Owls, who failed to bring in Charlton Athletic left-back Morgan Fox before yesterday’s 11pm transfer deadline, beat off strong competition to land Reach. The Star understands the Boro graduate has been on the radar of as many as nine second-tier clubs.
Fresh after becoming Wednesday’s eighth summer signing, Reach said: “I’m really pleased. It’s been a whirlwind day and I went into it not really knowing what was going to happen.
“I trained with Boro and then as soon as I was told of the interest from Sheffield Wednesday, I wanted to get straight down here.
“Everyone knows what the club achieved last season and everyone knows what they want to achieve this season. I want to be part of that. I will now do my very best to help get this massive club back into the Premier League where they belong.”
The 23-year-old spent much of last season on loan at Preston North End where he scored four goals in 36 starts. He was an unused substitute in Middlesbrough’s goalless draw with West Bromwich Albion last weekend but has not featured in any of their opening four Premier League fixtures.
Reach, an integral member of the Boro side who reached the Play-Off final in 2015, is looking forward to the next chapter of his career.
He said: “This is a huge club and the next challenge of my career, the time feels right. You try not to get involved in speculation but once I knew Sheffield Wednesday were interested, I knew where I wanted my next move to be.
“This place rocks and I know because I have played here. I can’t wait to pull on the shirt and get cracking.”
Keiren Westwood played the first half of the Republic of Ireland’s 4-0 friendly win over Oman yesterday.