One of which is Dani Ayala, who has been given the captain’s armband at Middlesbrough in recent weeks. The central defender has been one of the club’s stand out players this season, and was given the man of the match award in their recent 2-0 win over then-league leaders West Bromwich Albion.
The Spaniard would be allowed to leave the club at the end of the season if he wasn’t offered a new contract, and is also allowed to discuss terms with other teams as early as January under the Bosman ruling.
Ayala has been linked to the likes of Leeds United, Stoke and Fulham, but speaking to The Hartlepool Mail, the centre-back said that he will be staying at Middlesbrough, ‘unless something big happens’.
“Of course I see all the speculation, my friends send me all the stories and that is normal,” he said. “But really I have to tell you that I only concentrate on Middlesbrough and I’m not thinking about leaving in January or anything like that.
“Unless something really big happens – and I don’t think it will – I will definitely be at Middlesbrough until the end of the season. I have been here seven years and I’ve said before, I love this club. I don’t really think about going elsewhere.
“I just want to stay here and let’s see what happens.
“The way I see it is that I am not going anywhere.”