Winger joins Middlesbrough
Mustapha Carayol has today joined Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee.
The winger, who joined Rovers last summer, has been linked with a move to the Championship club for a number of weeks.
Manager Mark McGhee said: “Ever since the club turned down an offer for Muzzy at Christmas we have tried very hard to persuade him that his long term future was with Bristol Rovers.
“His attitude since we turned down that offer has been first class, he buckled down and his performances have been outstanding. I commend him for that.
“We are very sorry to see him go, we have tried everything to keep him here, but Middlesbrough gave him an opportunity to play Championship football, that he could not turn down.
“I am very grateful for the effort he has given me since I came to the club, and I wish him every success in the future.”
Having played under Paul Ince, as a youth team player at Swindon Town and Macclesfield Town, Mustapha was signed by Ince when he took over as manager at MK Dons.
He made his senior debut for the Dons, appearing in a League Cup tie against Sheffield United, in August 2007 before spending time on loan with Crawley Town, for whom he made 25 league appearances.
He became a Torquay United player in the summer of 2008 and made 20 league appearances during his first season at Plainmoor.
During the 2009/10 season he spent time on loan with Kettering Town and at the end of that campaign he was sold to Lincoln City for a fee in the region of £30,000.
However when the Imps suffered relegation from the Football League, at the end of last season, he was made available for transfer and his former Torquay boss, Paul Buckle, brought him to the Memorial Stadium.
Chairman Nick Higgs said: “The deal has been on the cards for a long time, but I was not willing to let him go until I secured a deal that was right for Bristol Rovers.
Muzzy is an exciting player, and I know that a lot of you will be sad to see him go, but Middlesbrough have offered him a fantastic opportunity and we could not stand in his way and we wish him well.”