Middlesbrough to hold contract talks with wingers as Neil Warnock explains transfer challenges

Middlesbrough will hold contract talks with Marvin Johnson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing at the end of the season but are also looking at other options in the wide positions.

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 7:30 am

Both players will see their current deals expire this summer, while Neeskens Kebano and Yannick Bolasie are nearing the end of their loan spells at the Riverside.

Mendez-Laing, who has been out with a thigh injury in recent weeks, joined Boro on a short-term deal in January, while Johnson signed for the club in 2017.

When asked by the Mail if there have been any contract discussions with Mendez-Laing and Johnson, Warnock said: “Not really, I saw Mendez yesterday and he doesn’t feel it’s as bad as it was. We won’t be doing anything this week but we’ll have a look at him next week.

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Middlesbrough winger Marvin Johnson.
Middlesbrough winger Marvin Johnson.

“I’ve not had chance to have a talk with him if I’m honest, I’ve had one or two other things on my mind in the last week but I will get round to it. And Marvin, I’ll speak to Marvin as well.”

Boro have been assessing potential transfer targets in several positions and have plans in place for if their wingers do depart.

One of Warnock’s assistants, Ronnie Jepson, recently went abroad to scout players who Boro could sign and is now self-isolating after returning to the UK.

“We have to do that,” added Warnock. “You’ve got to expect the worst and have back-up plans. That’s what we’re doing and have been doing for weeks.

“It isn’t easy because there are one or two targets abroad and it’s a nightmare. We sent Ronnie Jepson and haven’t seen him since. Poor old Ronnie. He thought he’d be back tomorrow and he can’t come back now.

“I want us to see all these players and go and watch these players.”

Jepson won’t be on the bench for this weekend’s home game against Sheffield Wednesday, yet Warnock has been in regular contact with the Boro coach.

“We’ve had numerous conversations,” added Warnock. “We’ve had a meeting this morning about the team for tomorrow and how we are playing, Ronnie has been involved in that.”

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