Neil Warnock has confirmed that Britt Assombalonga will leave Middlesbrough when his contract expires at the end of this season.
Assombalonga became Boro’s record signing when he arrived from Nottingham Forest for £15million back in the summer of 2017.
The striker scored 15 goals in his first season with the club, and has since scored 47 goals in 159 appearances across all competitions.
But the 28-year-old, who has scored only five goals in 29 league outings this term, looks set to leave the Riverside when his contract expires this summer.
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Speaking ahead of his side’s trip to Bournemouth today, Warnock confirmed that Assombalonga will leave at the end of the season, and even hinted that the forward may have already played his final game for the club.
Via the Northern Echo, he said: “Is there an acceptance that he will leave in the summer? Yes, I think that’s been common knowledge for a few months really, from both parties.
“It’s difficult because he’s been my captain. I’m not going to mess him about. It’s not his fault his contract is up and he’s on a good contract.
“I’ve had no problems with him, but I’m not going to take him (to matches) for the sake of taking him to put him on the team-sheet. We’ve got one or two other strikers on the team-sheet, I have to respect him as well. I won’t just use him like that. If the others are fit, it’s difficult to see him being involved.”
Assombalonga has made 19 starts for Boro this season, with Ashley Fletcher grabbing the headlines after an impressive season in front of goal.
Rangers and Bristol City have both been linked with Assombalonga, with his Riverside future up in the air.
This is a shame for Boro fans.
Assombalonga was one of the best strikers at this level a couple of years ago, but injuries have played their part and he looks a shadow of the player he once was.
It will be interesting to see whether he does make the move to the SPFL. A lot will depend on his ambitions of whether he wants to win trophies or play in the English Premier League.