Andy Campbell has lashed out the way in which Middlesbrough have handled Daniel Ayala’s contract situation.
The Spaniard’s contract is due to expire next summer but as of yet there’s no sign of the two parties agreeing a deal to extend his stay.
Ayala revealed to Teesside Live that he was open to signing a contract, however there’s been no advance in talks with his future looking likely to be away from the Riverside Stadium.
Rumours have circulated that Middlesbrough could look to cash in on the 29-year-old once the January transfer window opens with Leeds United, Fulham and Stoke City all thought to be among the potential suitors.
But allowing a player with the influence of Daniel Ayala to leave the club would be a huge blow to Jonathan Woodgate’s side.
As the days continue to tick by until the start of the January transfer window, it starts to look like his future could be decided.
Campbell spoke exclusively to Football League World about Daniel Ayala’s future and gave an insight into what the defender could be thinking as his contract enters its final months.
He said: “I’m confused about how late they’re leaving these contracts because these players want stability for their families, for themselves and their careers.
“To let things get this late in the day, as a player you’re thinking ‘I’m not wanted by the club’ so you start looking elsewhere anyway.
Should Daniel Ayala be offered a new contract with Middlesbrough?
“After losing Aden Flint we can’t afford to lose someone who is our best centre-half. I don’t see why players of the stature of (Daniel) Ayala are being left this late to tie down.
“He’s been a stalwart of the club, he’s played week in, week out and he’s captained the club on a number of occasions.
“We’ve got Dael Fry but all it takes is a big offer for him and you lost Daniel in the summer and you’ve lost your two centre halves and you’re left with absolutely nobody.
“Where do you go from there? Do you get another youngster through or do you look at a League Two player from recruitment or non-league, and the pressure on them is then massive.
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“Daniel could play at this level for another three or four years maybe so for me I’d have moved and offered him a new deal – maybe a two-year contract and then get him on the coaching staff.”
Campbell added: “I’d have moved heaven and earth to keep this kind of player.
“It’s frustrating and upsetting because I want the best for the football club, and if that’s not going to happen with him or the others who are out of contract – what’s the reasoning behind it.
“Are they offering him lesser terms? We don’t know the answers so if we don’t know the answers then we won’t know until these players move on and do interviews to tell us the truth, but by then it’s too late.”