Middlesbrough news and transfer rumours: Neil Warnock's stance on Ashley Fletcher's situation after Sheffield United links
With the summer transfer window set to reopen at the start of June, speculation is starting to increase regarding players’ futures.
Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock is already looking at players who could be available to sign ahead of next season, while there is uncertainty surrounding players already at the club.
Striker Ashley Fletcher is one of a couple of players who will be out of contract at the end of the campaign – and it’s now been reported that Sheffield United are monitoring the situation.
What the rumours say
According to Football League World, the Blades are keen on Fletcher, 25, and will look to make a move for the forward if he becomes available.
Although relegation hasn’t been confirmed, Sheffield United are preparing to return to the Championship next season after being cut adrift at the bottom of the Premier League.
It’s therefore been claimed that Fletcher could be targeted as the Blades look to return to the top flight.
What’s Middlesbrough’s stance?
Boro offered Fletcher, who has missed most of the campaign with a hamstring injury, a new deal earlier this year.
The striker would have to take a wage cut to stay at the Riverside, after joining the Teessiders from West Ham in 2017, while he and his representatives have decided to put negotiations on hold until the end of the season.
When asked about Fletcher by the Mail last week Warnock admitted he doesn’t think anything will be agreed before the summer.
“We’ve only got nine games so we just have to concentrate on these games and then discussions I’m sure will take place in the summer,” Warnock said.
What are the chances of Fletcher staying at Middlesbrough?
What we do know is that Warnock wants to sign at least another striker this summer and is already looking at targets.
When quizzed on Fletcher’s situation in February, Warnock said: “If he goes I replace him.
"It's up to him, he's a good lad and he's worked so hard for four months. If he can finish top scorer I'll be more than delighted."
You get the impression Warnock is unlikely to hang if negotiations drag on.