EXCLUSIVE: Boro renew attempts to land hitman who destroyed them

Famara Diedhiou TEAMtalk

Middlesbrough are set to make a renewed attempt to land Famara Diedhiou this summer on a free transfer, according to TEAMtalk sources.

Boro are set to overhaul much of their squad at the end of the season, as they look set to lose Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher.

The Teessiders, who still have outside hopes of making the play-offs, have already secured the immediate future of manager Neil Warnock.

We understand that Warnock has been told he can make reinforcements in the summer. And the impending departure of Assombalonga in particular, as he is the club’s top earner, will make room for new recruits.

Assombalonga was told in January that he could leave the club, but Boro could not find a buyer – mainly due to his wages.

Assombalonga was left out of the squad that travelled to Swansea last weekend. Warnock saying after that the striker was not right in training. That prompted the forward to take to Instagram and alongside a picture of himself laughing in training, he wrote ‘Under the weather’ with a laughing emoji.

That came not long after the Boro boss had taken stripped the club captaincy from Assombalonga, who is out of contract in June.

But asked about it on Friday, Warnock insisted there was no rift between the pair.

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Assombalonga departure likely

“He’s done really well this week in training, and Duncan’s the same,” Warnock said. “Duncan looked really lethargic at Swansea, I thought, but they’ve all been outstanding in training this week.

“There’s been laughter and joking, but putting hard work in at the same time, which is what you want as a manager.

“I haven’t got a problem (with him). Obviously, I’m not daft and he’s not daft, and I think these next two or three games will decide what we’re going to do and we’ll act accordingly after that.”

Warnock though will look to utilise the wages of Assombalonga to sign Bristol City frontman Diedhiou. Warnock tried to sign the player in January and he is very much on his list of targets.

The 28-year-old, who recently helped put Boro to the sword with two goals for City last month, is out-of-contract at the end of the season.

TEAMtalk understands the Senegalese international will be offered a deal to move to Teesside, although interest is strong after an impressive campaign for the Robins.

Diedhiou, who had played all his career in France before arriving at Bristol for £5.3m in 2017, has scored 10 goals in 38 games in all competitions.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Stoke, Middlesbrough ask for price tag on impressive attacker