Middlesbrough have been linked to Peterborough United striker Ivan Toney this week, with a reported £4 million bid rejected.

It is widely known that Middlesbrough are strapped for cash at present. After the large amount spent by former Boro boss Garry Monk at the start of the 2017-18 campaign, Chairman Steve Gibson has had to limit his spending during the subsequent transfer windows.

The signings of Britt Assombalonga, Martin Braithwaite, Darren Randolph, Ashley Fletcher, Jonny Howson, Ryan Shotton and Cyrus Christie for nearly £40 million combined suggested Boro meant business, and by Gibson’s own admission they wanted to ‘smash the Championship’.

However, this never materialised, sacking Monk before Christmas, replacing him with Tony Pulis, and failing to progress further than the Play Off semi-final double header against Aston Villa.

Since then, Gibson has been attempting to claw back the serious spending done under Monk’s tenure, signing players on free transfers, as well as younger players with potential in cheaper deals.

Now with links to Peterborough United striker Ivan Toney hitting the headlines this week, and with Posh looking for a bid in the region of £10 million, Middlesbrough may be forced to sell their prized assets in order to fund such a player’s move.

One player that could be shown the exit door is Britt Assombalonga. Signed for £15 million, Gibson would want to recuperate the majority, if not all, of the transfer fee paid out to Nottingham Forest back in 2017, and there are certainly plenty of potential suitors.

Crystal Palace, Fulham, Sheffield United and Bristol City have all been mentioned, and if Toney presents a better option to Boro, and the only way to bring him to the Riverside is by selling their number nine, this could well be on the cards as early as the January transfer window if he continues to struggle under new boss Jonathan Woodgate.