Duncan Watmore has pledged his future to the club by signing a two-and-a-half-year contract.

The 26-year-old has scored five goals in eight games since joining the club on a short-term deal in November.

Watmore, who is in the running for the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month award for December, has caught the attention of a number of clubs since making his Boro debut against Derby County.

He scored twice in the wins against both Swansea City and Millwall, and also netted in the 2-1 reverse at Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the month.

Boro boss Neil Warnock has made no secret of his desire to sign the former Sunderland striker on a longer-term deal, and he was delighted to beat off the competition of others to capture his signature.

“We’re delighted to get him on board,” said the boss. “I don’t think it was ever in doubt that he would sign with us because he has loved every minute of it here so far. 

“He gets on with the players and the staff, and he is really enjoying himself. 

“He’s a real good lad. We’re looking forward to having him here on a longer-term basis now and hopefully seeing him score plenty more goals for the club.”