EXCLUSIVE: Warnock tells £3m Middlesbrough man to find another club

Chuba Akpom TEAMtalk

Former Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom has been told he has no future at Middlesbrough, TEAMtalk understands.

The 25-year-old joined Boro last summer when they paid Greek club PAOK just under £3m for his signature. But Boro chief Neil Warnock has been left somewhat underwhelmed by the former Arsenal man. Five league goals in over 30 appearances followed this season, and now Warnock has made it clear to Akpom that he is not in his plans.

The writing may well have been on the wall for a while for Akpom as earlier this year Warnock admitted that the striker had been signed off by their recruitment team after watching videos, something he was not happy with.

“I can make anybody look good on a video. We really have to go into everything a bit more when we’re looking to sign players,” Warnock said.

“I don’t think we’ll be signing another player on the recruitment (team’s) say after just watching a video, we need to watch players live.”

We now understand that Akpom’s representatives have been charged with finding a new club for him. And already a number of teams are looking at a possible deal which is likely to be a loan as he is one of Boro’s highest earners at the club.

Millwall, QPR, Bristol City and Charlton are amongst the clubs who have been approached about the possibility of taking him. Akpom is still under contract until 2023, with the option of another 12 months.

With Akpom on his way, Warnock is looking at a total overhaul of his striking department with out-of-contract duo Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga already departed.

Warnock said at the start of April that £15m Assombalonga was unlikely to play for him again after admitting the player will leave this summer.

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Assombalonga jettisoned

Assombalonga became Boro’s record signing when he made the switch from Nottingham Forest to the Riverside Stadium on a four-year deal in July 2017 under then manager Garry Monk in the wake of relegation from the Premier League.

“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,” Warnock told the Northern Echo.

“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.”

In fact Assombalonga did play twice more for Boro, but only for a combined 28 minutes, but did not make the squad for the last four games.

It is understood Warnock is set to give a prominent role next season to teenager Josh Coburn, who he has promoted through the youth ranks and made an impact including a goal on his home debut for the club.

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