Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate admitted he was shocked that Portsmouth were prepared to sell him Gary O'Neil.

He said: "I didn't think he would be available but he has now become available for various reasons at Portsmouth and he's somebody I've been an admirer of for some time.

"I attempted to sign him when I first got this job this time last year and I tried again earlier this summer but I really didn't think we were going to be able to get him.

"But Harry Redknapp needed some money to buy another player he wants and that's worked in our favour."