Middlesbrough are set to release four players this week, with the quartet set to become free agents.
Middlesbrough confirmed the news via their official website, with midfielders Stewart Downing, John Obi Mikel and goalkeeping duo Dimi Konstantopoulos and Andy Lonergan all released.
Downing will end his 12 year affinity with the club, having spent two spells at the club between 2001 and 2009 and then rejoining in the Championship in 2015. The 34-year old winger has been attracting attention from the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers, and has reportedly entered talks with Tony Mowbray’s side.
Dimi Konstantopoulos is also a long serving player on Teesside, having joined in 2013, and will leave the club as a fan favourite. ‘Dimi’ as he is known to fans, and as it appears on the back of his shirt, was the number one choice in Middlesbrough’s Play Off Final season and the following promotion season.
John Obi Mikel only joined on an initial six month permanent deal from Chinese outfit Tianjin TEDA, but now after being released is looking for a new challenge. Reports suggest Premier League new boys Norwich City are interested in bringing the Nigerian captain to Carrow Road, and Sheffield United are also keen.
Andy Lonergan didn’t make a league appearance for Middlesbrough, and was limited to cup appearances, however he was the star man in the early rounds as Boro progressed through the Carabao Cup on penalties against Notts County, where Lonergan saved two of the five he faced.
The four players are joined by Mo Besic, Jordan Hugill and Rajiv van La Parra who have also left their club having only been at Boro on loan. They have rejoined their parent clubs Everton, West Ham United and Huddersfield respectively.