Boro release Parlour and Ehigou

January 25, 2007

Middlesbrough have released experienced duo Ugo Ehiogu and Ray Parlour from their contracts.

The 34-year-old defender, once the club's record signing at £8million, and his 33-year-old team-mate have left the club with Ehiogu joining Rangers and the midfielder planning to return to Arsenal to train in an effort to regain his fitness after injury.

Both had become surplus to requirements at the Riverside Stadium under new boss Gareth Southgate, who is currently attempting to reduce the wage bill and make room for new recruits.

He said: 'I wish them both well. They are both great lads who brought us immense experience and professionalism.

'I have known and played alongside Ugo, both at Aston Villa and Boro, for many years and have the utmost respect for him.

'He was a key player for Middlesbrough, but I think he will be best remembered for his part in helping us win the Carling Cup, because he was outstanding in the final.

'Ray helped us through our first season of European football when he was also a key member of the side that helped achieve Boro's highest ever Premier League position.

'Unfortunately, I was no longer in a position to give them regular first-team football, so their release gives them both a chance to move on, while it gives us a chance to continue the development of some of our younger players.'

Ehiogu has has signed an 18-month deal with the Ibrox club.

He had already passed a medical and agreed personal terms with Rangers, before returning to the Riverside to negotiate a settlement with Boro.

All the paperwork has now been completed and the former England defender will wear the number 12 jersey vacated when Bob Malcolm joined Derby earlier this season.

Ehiogu has trained with his new team-mates at Murray Park this week and could make his debut in Saturday's Bank of Scotland Premier League game against Hearts.

He told the club's official website: 'I'm really pleased to be here although I'm still taking in my surroundings given the size of the place.

'I heard of Rangers' interest just over a week ago. If things had been sorted out sooner there was even talk of me playing against Dunfermline last Sunday.

'But with technical stuff and a few loose ends that needed to be tied up it just wasn't possible. Hopefully now that things are sorted out I can play some part on Saturday.

'I just want to thank everyone at Middlesbrough for their professionalism in their handling of me over the last six years - it's been fantastic.

'But I've moved on now and I want to start a new career at Rangers and achieve something here.'