Middlesbrough FC news: West Ham striker faces uncertain future, Mo Besic returns to Everton plus Jason Puncheon latest

Middlesbrough's season came to an abrupt end at Rotherham last weekend, with many now facing a summer of uncertainty after missing out on Championship promotion.

By Joe Nicholson
Saturday, 11 May, 2019, 14:48
Jordan Hugill scored six goals in 37 league appearances while on loan at Middlesbrough.

While Boro boss Tony Pulis is yet to resolve his own future at the club, senior players such as Stewart Downing, John Obi Mikel, Dimi Konstantopoulos and Andy Lonergan will also see their contracts expire before the start of next season.

Meanwhile, others, including top scorer Britt Assombalonga, have also been linked with moves away from the Riverside, with Pulis strongly hinting in recent weeks that Boro are looking to cut the costs.

Pulis has consistently mentioned the club's financial limitations this term, claiming Boro have been forced to sell players to balance the books.

For that reason, it seems unlikely the Teessiders will spend big in the next few months, a contrast to the summer of 2017 when Boro made several big money signings following relegation from the Premier League.

The change of approach from Boro will also result in uncertainty for West Ham striker Jordan Hugill and Everton midfielder Mo Besic, both of whom spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan at the Riverside.

Both returned to their respective clubs earlier this week, while Hugill was pictured training with the Hammers squad by team-mate Robert Snodgrass on Instagram.

Hugill, 26, struggled to nail down a first-team spot at the Riverside, scoring six goals in 37 league appearances for the Teessiders.

Recent reports have claimed the forward is just one of the players West Ham will look to offload this summer, even if it means making a loss on the reported £10million they spent on the frontman.

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Hugill has made just three appearances for the Hammers since joining the club from Preston in January 2018.

Besic, too, has returned to his parent club following a season-long loan on Teesside, yet, for the same reasons, the Bosnian, 26, is also unlikely to re-sign for Boro on a permanent deal.

One player who could be available for a cut price, though, is Crystal Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon.

The 32-year-old has spent nearly six years at Selhurst Park but announced on Friday he will leave the Premier League club.

Puncheon was strongly linked with a move to Boro last summer before deciding to stay at Palace.

The midfielder then joined Premier League basement side Huddersfield on loan in January and made 11 top-flight appearances for the Terriers.

Speaking following the announcement he will leave Palace this summer, Puncheon said: "It's been an honour and a privilege to have represented my hometown club and I leave with memories that will stay with me forever.

"I would like to thank everyone at Palace; in particular all of my team mates and the managers and coaches I've played under."