Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock says he wants striking duo Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher to both sign new contracts at the Riverside Stadium.
Both strikers see their current deals expire at the end of this season, which would at that point allow them them to leave the club for free.
However, it seems as though Warnock is hopeful that the situation is not going to come to that with either player, having already seen the likes of Anfernee Dijksteel, Jonny Howson, Paddy McNair and Marc Bola put pen to paper on new deals with the club this season.
Providing an update on the situation surrounding the futures of Assombalonga and Fletcher, Warnock was quoted by The Hartlepool Mail as saying: “I wanted to prioritise certain lads who we’ve got done.
“We will have a chat. I’ve had a chat with both of those lads, as you would do. You have to get a busy period out of the way before you get into it. I don’t think anybody will be leaving, if I’m honest.
“I always think what will be will be, players sign contracts or they don’t.”
Indeed, it seems Warnock is optimistic that Assombalonga and Fletcher are both willing to extend their stays at The Riverside, as he went on to add: “Very keen when I spoke to them, that was in the summer, pre-season. It was around the time I gave Britt the captaincy.
“I will be talking to them both again. It hasn’t been my priority because I wanted to get others tied up and then I will have a word in the next couple of weeks.”
So far this season, Assombalonga has scored four goals in 18 league appearances for ‘Boro, although a serious hamstring injury means Fletcher has not made an appearance for the club since September.
This does look to be good news from a Middlesbrough perspective.
Both Fletcher and Assombalonga have been decent players for ‘Boro in recent years, and you do feel as though they still have something to give for the club.
As a result, you can understand why ‘Boro look to be keen to extend their deals here, and judging by Warnock’s comments, they should be confident of doing that.
Indeed, as well as impressing on the pitch this season, you do have to admire the work being done off it this season by Warnock and co. in terms of securing the services of a number of important players for the club for several years to come.