Carlos de Pena: Middlesbrough sign Nacional winger

By Steve CrossmanBBC Sport
Nacional winger Carlos de Pena
Nacional winger Carlos de Pena has scored 10 goals in 53 games for his club

Middlesbrough have signed Uruguayan winger Carlos de Pena from Nacional.

The deal for the 23-year-old had initially been hampered by a car crash when he was on his way back from Montevideo airport.

He completed the formalities of the deal while in Brazil, having undergone a medical on Tuesday morning, and has signed a three-year deal with Boro.

De Pena made 53 appearances for Montevideo-based Nacional and scored 10 goals for the club.

The crash happened after De Pena, who at the time did not have his Uruguayan club's permission to leave, was on his way back from Montevideo airport after cancelling a flight to England on Monday.

After a hospital check-up the left-footed winger booked a new flight.

Nacional president Eduardo Ache said he had asked De Pena not to leave.

"I spoke to De Pena in the afternoon and he said he was leaving because it was a life opportunity, that we should let him to go. I told him that in this situation he can't go, it was not about the money," Ache told Uruguayan sports website Ovacion Digital.

"The damage has been already done. It would be difficult to get the player back."

Tim Vickery, South American football expert, told BBC Radio 5 live: "On Monday, the club got a call from his agent saying he is on his way to England. The player drove off and promptly got himself in a car accident with him and his mother in the car.

"Nothing serious as he was allowed out of hospital pretty soon after and he left his mum there, went back to the airport and flew to Middlesbrough.

"I can't remember anyone being so desperate to get to Middlesbrough since Chris Rea was driving home for Christmas."

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