Championship rivals West Bromwich Albion, Bristol City and Coventry City have all entered the race to sign Middlesbrough left-back Neil Taylor, with his contract at the Riverside Stadium set to expire today.
This latest report is courtesy of Football Insider, who also state that Boro are keen on sealing a fresh contract agreement for the ex-Wales international to extend his stay on Teesside after seeing him impress in his two appearances for Chris Wilder’s men.
The 32-year-old was the ex-Sheffield United manager’s first signing at the club, joining in November as the second-tier side looked for a left-sided player with Ipswich Town loanee Hayden Coulson, Marvin Johnson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing all leaving the club during the summer.
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And with Wilder seemingly preferring Onel Hernandez as a striker as well, Taylor’s arrival has been crucial for the promotion chasers despite spending much of his short spell at the club on the bench behind Marc Bola.
However, they aren’t the only ones pursuing his signature at this stage, with West Brom seemingly looking to add to their left wing-back spot to cover for Conor Townsend and Adam Reach, although West Midlands rivals Coventry City may need him more at this stage with Ian Maatsen being linked with a potential early return to Chelsea.
Taylor was dropped back to the bench in his current side’s last game against Blackpool, though it was confirmed after the match that his starting lineup omission was due to Wilder wanting to rest him.
The left-back admitted last month that he was ‘relaxed’ about his contract situation, though his praise of his current boss could potentially signal that an extended stay at the Riverside is on the horizon.
At this stage, Taylor would probably be well-served staying with Boro considering the feel-good factor there is at the Riverside currently – and they look like a side that are on the up.
Although the Welshman may have to compete with Bola for the left wing-back spot, Covid cases and injuries are always likely to creep in throughout the season so there’s every chance he will get more first-team opportunities.
His performances have also been impressive both defensively and offensively, so it’s no surprise to hear that his current club are looking to extend his stay, and on a free transfer, this would be a shrewd move.
The Teesside outfit’s board invested a lot in new arrivals during the summer, so it would make sense to extend his deal, and his arrival at West Brom, the Robins or Coventry would also be a good signing for all three sides.
Taylor’s recent displays have shown he could put a shift in for a promotion-chasing side, so Valerien Ismael’s men should be sitting up and taking notice of this potential opportunity.