Italian international Diego Fabbrini joins Middlesbrough from Watford

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka
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Middlesbrough have completed the signing of Italian international Diego Fabbrini on a season-long loan from Watford.

The 24-year-old midfielder travelled with the Boro squad to Doncaster for their pre-season friendly at the weekend, ahead of completing the formalities of his move to the Championship outfit.

Highly-rated Fabbrini follows in the footsteps of Tomas Kalas by joining on a season-long loan, with Boro also capturing the signing of Stewart Downing from West Ham United.

Speaking after the 0-0 draw at Doncaster, Karanka said he was also hoping to finalise the move for Uruguayan striker Christian Stuani this week.

Karanka said: “They are both players who wanted to join us and they had better contract options available, but they wanted to join us.

“If we can finally sign them then they are going to improve the squad and I’ll be very pleased if they can sign.”

The 24-year-old made his first team debut in August 2009 for Empoli in the Italian Serie B league.

A year later he made the switch to Udinese but was sent out on loan to Palermo. The midfielder then returned to Udinese and played 23 times during the 2011-12 season, scoring two goals.

Fabbrini, whose Italy debut came against England in 2012, is no stranger to the Championship.

Watford moved to sign him on a permanent deal in 2013, Fabbrini signing a four-year deal with the Hornets.

In 2013-14 he featured 23 times for Watford, scoring one goal, and made just a handful of appearances last season before joining Milwall and Birmingham City on loan.