Leadbitter Makes Boro Move

  • Last Updated: May 29 2012, 17:06 BST

Middlesbrough have made former Ipswich midfielder Grant Leadbitter their first signing of the summer.

Leadbitter: Excited for Riverside challenge

Leadbitter, 26, has signed a three-year deal with the Teessiders after his contract at Portman Road came to an end.

Roy Keane paid Sunderland £2.6m for Leadbitter in the summer of 2009 and he went on to score 13 times in 116 appearances for Town.

"I'm pretty excited," he said. "I wanted a fresh challenge and when the opportunity to join Middlesbrough came in, I just couldn't turn it down.

"I just want to play well for Middlesbrough and get the club in the Premier League."

Boss Tony Mowbray added: "I am delighted we have managed to sign a player of Grant's quality, tenacity and competitive edge.

"In my mind, we are signing a player who has matured to have a good understanding of the game. Following the loss of Barry Robson, he will ensure that we will retain the competitive experience that we need in midfield.

"We knew that Grant was out of contract and when a player of his qualities is in that position we obviously became interested. Hopefully he will be a core player for us in a side that will be pushing for promotion next season."