Middlesbrough FC transfer rumours: Sheffield United and Fulham face striker competition as reported Boro target gets Premier League move
Transfer rumours continue to swirl with less than a month to go until the start of Middlesbrough’s Championship season. Here are some of the latest Boro-related stories:
Assombalonga reports resurface – It’s not the first time Boro’s top scorer from last season has been linked with a move away from the Riverside.
The 26-year-old frontman has reportedly attracted interest from Sheffield United and Fulham in the last few months after scoring 14 Championship goals for Boro last term.
Yet according to TeamTalk, the aforementioned clubs are ‘baulking at Boro’s asking price’, with the Teessiders wanting to recoup the reported £15million sum they paid for the striker.
The report also claims Assombalonga is being targeted by clubs in China and the Middle East, after becoming ‘unsettled’ at the Riverside.
Yet Assombalonga, who is away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, was full of praise when asked about Boro’s new head coach Jonathan Woodgate last week, saying the former defender deserved to get the job.
Former target joins Southampton – Boro were heavily linked with 22-year-old striker Che Adams in January, a player who scored an impressive 22 goals for Birmingham last season.
Yet Boro’s chances of landing the highly-rated striker were completely dashed earlier this week, when Adams signed a five-year-deal with top-flight side Southampton for a reported £15million fee.
As well as Boro’s reported interest, Southampton also made a move for Adams earlier this year. "There was interest in January but it didn't quite go through but I'm happy now it has,” he said.
Meanwhile Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted the club had been "monitoring Adams for some time".
Aston Villa plan Saints raid – Following his brief loan spell at Boro in 2015, defender Jack Stephens has forced his way into Southampton’s first team.
The 25-year-old made 24 top-flight appearances for the Saints last season, with the Mirror now claiming Premier League newcomers Aston Villa are ready to make a move for Stephens.
The defender made six appearance for Boro in all competitions and was part of the side which beat Manchester United in the League Cup.