Uncertainty surrounding the future of Bristol City forward Famara Diedhiou continues to mount as he weighs up his summer options.
The 28-year-old is out of contract at Ashton Gate in the summer and has been heavily linked to a move to Middlesbrough, although other Championship clubs have been linked to the forward.
And Diedhiou appeared to take another step closer to the exit door on the weekend when he was left out of the squad as City fell to a 3-2 home defeat to Luton Town.
According to Football Insider, Middlesbrough are now in advanced talks to sign Diedhiou after failing to agree a swap deal involving Britt Assombalonga in January.
Boss Nigel Pearson claimed the striker was absent because of a knee injury, despite training all week in the build-up to the game. His absence comes after Pearson had questioned the commitment of certain unnamed individuals in recent weeks.
Bristol Live believe Diedhiou is an ‘obvious suspect’ given the striker is out of contract on June 30 and has shown little inclination to sign a new deal.
Diedhiou, who has scored 46 goals since arriving from Angers in 2017, was offered an extension at Ashton Gate but has so far opted against signing it.
The Senegalese striker is said to be weighing up several options, and a decision is unlikely to be made until the end of the current Championship season.
The uncertainty over his future certainly seems to have had an impact on his form in front of goal this season.
The Senegal international enjoyed a fine first half of the season but his only goals since the winter transfer window came in Bristol City’s win at the Riverside in February.
He has started nine of the 12 game since Pearson’s arrival at Ashton Gate, but has so far failed to find the net in all those appearances.