Ayala set for Riverside exit as Boro complete Gestede deal

Middlesbrough's Daniel Ayala.Middlesbrough's Daniel Ayala.
Middlesbrough's Daniel Ayala.
TURKISH side Galatasaray are the frontrunners to sign out-of-favour Middlesbrough central defender Daniel Ayala '“ as the Premier League outfit seek to fine-tune their squad for a critical second half of the season.

Boro completed their first piece of significant inward business yesterday, completing the signing of £6m forward Rudy Gestede from Aston Villa – and are also keen on bringing in further recruits to bolster their options with Gerald Deulofeu, Bojan Krkic and Hull City duo Robert Snodgrass and Harry Maguire all linked with moves.

A possible sale of one of last season’s promotion heroes in Ayala, who has fallen down the pecking order with Ben Gibson and Callum Chambers having been head coach Aitor Karanka’s prefered centre-half partnership for most of this season, would potentially also give Karanka some added spending power in January.

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Ayala is expected to leave the Riverside this month, with a number of clubs having enquired about his availability, most notably Galatasaray.

Belgian midfielder Julien De Sart, who has featured just once this term in the EFL Cup loss at Fulham, is set to complete a loan move to Steve McClaren’s Derby.

The future of several other players who have struggled for game time this season, most notably Jordan Rhodes and David Nugent is also under the microscope, with several clubs monitoring developments.

The signing of Gestede has nudged the striking duo closer to the exit door, with the 28-year-old having signed a deal with the Teessiders which keeps him at the club until 2020.

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The big forward is likely to be handed a debut in Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

Villa signed Gestede from Blackburn Rovers for around £6m in July 2015 on the back of a 22-goal return at Ewood Park in 2014-15.

But Gestede featured mainly from the bench in Villa’s inglorious relegation campaign of last term and a new season failed to yield a turnaround, with the Benin international managing just four goals in 19 appearances, with Jonathan Kodjia, Jordan Ayew, Ross McCormack and Gabriel Agbonlahor all being preferred ahead of him.

Meanwhile, out-of-favour Rotherham United midfielders Scott Allan and Jake Forster-Caskey are to set to follow loan defender Dael Fry out of the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

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The 19-year-old was recalled by parent club Boro yesterday, with the young centre-half having not featured for the club since November 5.

Allan has also been on the periphery, with his last appearance being back on October 25, with Forster-Caskey having also been used sparingly.

Forster-Caskey – signed on a season-long loan from Brighton last summer – has been linked with a reunion with Charlton boss Karl Robinson, who signed him on loan during his time in charge of MK Dons.

Warne said: “They are not getting in the squad and I would expect something to happen.

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“As it stands at the moment, they are just not in my plans. If I bring in new signings, they are going to be even less in my plans.”

Warne has already allowed Dominic Ball to join Peterborough United on loan this term as he bids to realign the Millers squad following a fraught opening half of the campaign.

Colchester United have made contact with Barnsley about bringing striker Elliot Lee back to the club for a third loan spell.

The former West Ham United youngster has had two previous loan spells at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, with Colchester head coach John McGreal being a big admirer of the 22-year-old.

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Lee has made only three appearances for the Reds following his arrival in the summer and is expected to be allowed to move onto pastures new this month.

Doncaster goalkeeper Ross Etheridge has been recalled from a loan spell at Alfreton Town.