Middlesbrough have secured the services of midfielder Grant Leadbitter with a new deal which runs until 2018.

The 28-year-old has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract with the club and joins Ben Gibson, George Friend, Adam Reach and Albert Adomah who have already penned new long-term contracts this season.

Leadbitter, whose contract was due to expire at the end of the current campaign, has captained the team this season in the absence of Jonathan Woodgate and is the club's leading goalscorer with nine to his name.

His 20 appearances this season have taken him past the century mark for Boro, since joining from Ipswich in the summer of 2012, and Head Coach Aitor Karanka was delighted to secure the services of the experienced midfield man on a new long-term contract. 

He said: "I'm very pleased Grant has signed his new contract. Firstly, he is a very important player for the team, but he is also someone who is finishing his contract and can have offers from other clubs. So it is great news that he has decided to stay with us. 

"He believes in the project at the club, and that is something I want to see from my players. Grant is a very good example to everyone as a professional."