Middlesbrough could yet offer Sol Bamba a contract for 2021/22 if the centre-back proves his fitness to Neil Warnock, a source has revealed to Football League World.
It was reported by Teesside Live last month that Bamba was training with Boro on the back of receiving the all-clear following a battle with cancer of the course of the last year.
The 36-year-old has a close relationship with Warnock owing to their time at Cardiff City.
At the time Bamba began training with Boro, there was no indication that he would earn a contract, with the sole focus just helping the centre-back regain his fitness.
However, Football League World have been told that should Bamba prove his fitness to Warnock, there’s the potential there for him to earn a one-year deal with the Teessiders.
That would, then, allow Paddy McNair to step into the midfield after starring for Boro in the heart of defence over the last year.
McNair, 26, is extremely versatile in that he can play in both midfield and defence, with Warnock forced to use him in the latter role last year in the Championship.
Bamba would provide Warnock with an experienced option in the heart of defence should he earn a contract at the Riverside Stadium.
The former Ivory Coast international is closing in on 400 competitive club appearances, with his last spell at Cardiff seeing him make 118 appearances and play a crucial role in the club’s promotion-winning 2017/18 season.