Middlesbrough have signed Austrian international Emanuel Pogatetz from Bayer Leverkusen.
The 22-year-old will arrive at the club on July 1 on a five-year contract after Boro agreed a fee with the German side which could eventually be worth up to £1.8m.
“Emanuel has impressive international and European experience for a lad of his age,” said McClaren Tuesday.
“But he is only 22 and can go on improving, so we are looking to the future. “We are trying to create competition for places throughout the team, which is something we lacked last season.
“We want to avoid getting into the situation we had last season when we wanted to rest senior players but didn’t have cover for injuries.
“The fact that Emanuel can play either as a full-back or in the centre of defence is a big bonus.”
Pogatetz has been capped 15 times. He has just completed a loan spell with Russian team Spartak Moscow.