Middlesbrough left-back Fabio da Silva has completed his move to French side Nantes on a three-year deal the club has confirmed via their official website.

The defender was wanted by Aitor Karanka at Nottingham Forest, and had a bid rejected earlier in the window. The left-back moves to Ligue 1 after two years at Middlesbrough, after signing from Cardiff City in 2016. Fabio went on to make 54 appearances for Boro, scoring two goals.

The wing-back was a fan favourite on Teesside, and was one of the stand out players in Middlesbrough’s Premier League campaign in the 2016/17 season. His performances even put him ahead of reliable left-back George Friend in the pecking order for the majority of the season. But he couldn’t help them avoid the drop back down to the Championship.

Fabio joins Nantes with plenty of experience. He has played in a Champions League final, made two caps for Brazil and has won a Premier League title. He will be able to take his experience into the next chapter of his career.

The Brazilian has taken to Twitter to say his farewell to the Middlesbrough fans. He said, “I want to say thank you to everyone at Boro: staff, players, most of all the fans.

“I tried to do my best every day and give my all.

“I hope I can return to the Premier League very soon. Thank you, you will always be in my heart. Up the Boro #UTB”

The final line regarding returning to the Premier League, could have played a huge factor in Fabio’s desire to leave the club. With Middlesbrough currently competing in the Championship, the defender may have wanted to play at the highest level possible, and Nantes could provide that opportunity.

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook

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