Neil Warnock has confirmed the departure of Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher from Middlesbrough, two weeks before the end of the season.
The pair were due to be out of contract in the summer, with Fletcher rejecting a new deal on reduced terms and Assombalonga not being offered one at all, but the early split means the pair are no longer training with the club.
The news comes after Boro ended their five game winless streak with a 2-1 away victory over Rotherham on Wednesday night.
Warnock said: “They won’t play and they won’t train with us. I just felt it was the right time. It’s difficult for players as well – it’s not their fault altogether.
“Both of them have probably got another club now, so I’m told. I didn’t think there was any point carrying on. We’ve agreed to let them both go – it’s only two more weeks.”
Assombalonga is still Boro’s record signing at £15m back in 2017, arriving as an established Championship centre-forward after his time with Nottingham Forest.
The Congolese international hit double figures in each of his first three seasons at the Riverside Stadium, but tailed off to a disappointing five league goals this campaign. Regardless, the likes of Rangers and Bristol City are now linked with his signature.
Fletcher, meanwhile, came through at Manchester United before notching a handful of Premier League games with West Ham.
Since his step down to the Championship, the 25-year-old has failed to establish himself as a consistent goal threat over his four seasons in the division. It is onto pastures new for the Middlesbrough pair, while Warnock must turn his remaining squad’s attention back towards Saturday’s fixtures against Sheffield Wednesday.