FORMER Middlesbrough striker Mido has made a surprise return to the North-East and is training at the club's Rockliffe Park headquarters.

The 28-year-old is on the look out for a new club after asking to have his contract with Ajax terminated last week - just five months after leaving the Riverside Stadium.

Mido has been linked with moves to Deportivo La Coruna, Espanyol and his boyhood club Zamalek in the last few days, but for the time being at least he is training on Teesside.

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The former Tottenham striker, whose family have remained in the area during his spell away, had become disillusioned with life in Holland, where he took the decision to quit based on a failure to become a regular under Martin Jol.

But rather than wait to see if he could force his way in to new coach Frank De Boer's plans, he felt the time was right to demand that his short spell in the Dutch capital came to an end.

"His departure surprised me. I have expressed my confidence in him. We had in mind that our No 9 became fit," said De Boer.

It has been suggested in the last 48 hours that Ajax are still to reach a conclusion over how his contract, due to run until the end of the season, is terminated.

But Boro manager Tony Mowbray has allowed him to come back and train with his first team, having taken over from Gordon Strachan in October without working with the Egyptian.

Strachan was keen to move Mido on last summer to reduce the club's wage bill, and the player was believed to command a weekly wage of around £50,000-a-week.

There were also huge question marks over his fitness, having gone through three years as a Boro player making just 32 appearances. Despite loan spells with Zamalek and West Ham he had struggled to recapture his best.

His move to Ajax was completed after lengthy and protracted negotiations between the clubs and the players advisors before it was announced Mido had been handed a contract at the Amsterdam ArenA until the end of the season.

The Middlesbrough manager has already allowed Jeremie Aliadiere and Andrew Davies - who plays for the reserves against Stoke at Billingham this afternoon - to work at the club's training base in Hurworth and there is still a chance both could be handed deals.

Mido, who Gareth Southgate paid £6m to Tottenham for, was joined on the training ground by David Wheater yesterday as the defender's proposed move to Bolton continues to stall.

It was the second day in a row that Wheater had trained with the rest squad after a weekend in which a transfer to Bolton looked to be on the cards.

However, Bolton are now believed to be cooling on their initial proposal of offering a deal worth around £4m for the 23-year-old, which has left the door open for the likes of Everton and Stoke to move in.

The player is out of contract and available for nothing in the summer, so interested teams are undecided whether to act now or gamble in the hope of signing him for free.

And Mowbray's assistant Mark Venus, speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Bristol City, would not be surprised if Wheater was available at Ashton Gate.

Speaking to BBC Tees, Venus said: "He is still here. He is still a Middlesbrough player. Whether that changes I don't know. As far as we know he is still a Middlesbrough contracted footballer.

"You would like it to be sorted out.  He has trained with us for the last couple of days. If he is still here on Saturday he will play for us."

Dutch winger Marvin Emnes trained successfully yesterday after shaking off the metatarsal problem which prevented him from facing Burton at the weekend.

But Mikael Tavares, on loan from Hamburg, is expected to be out for three weeks with a broken toe and both Jason Steele and Barry Robson are yet to return to training after knee and thigh complaints respectively.

Luke Williams will look to lead Boro in to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup tonight in their rearranged tie at Doncaster Rovers.