London - Benin international striker Rudy Gestede signed for Premier League strugglers Middlesbrough on Wednesday from Championship outfit Aston Villa for a reported fee of £6 million (7m euros, $7.4m).
The 28-year-old -- who began his spell in the English leagues with Cardiff in 2011 -- signed a three-year contract with Middlesbrough and his arrival should presage the departure of fellow strikers Jordan Rhodes, a former Blackburn team-mate, and veteran David Nugent.
Neither have been able to command a first team spot this season despite the team struggling for goals, scoring just 17 in 20 matches and hovering four points above the relegation zone.
"Boro have completed the signing of Rudy Gestede from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee," read a statement on the Middlesbrough website.
The France-born striker failed to fire in his time at Villa, scoring just five times in 24 Premier League matches last term as they were relegated.
This season the former France Under-19 international had found the net four times in 19 appearances, but fell out of favour when Steve Bruce replaced Roberto di Matteo at the helm.