MIDDLESBROUGH’S hopes of resurrecting a January deal for Albert Adomah have been dashed after Aston Villa boss Dean Smith insisted the winger would not be leaving Villa Park at the turn of the year.

Boro made a last-ditch attempt to re-sign Adomah during the August transfer window, with the 30-year-old having indicated a willingness to return to the Riverside. However, talks collapsed at the last minute, leaving Tony Pulis frustrated at his failure to increase his options in the wide positions.

Pulis is determined to make a couple of attacking acquisitions when the window reopens in January, and while he has been assessing a number of potential targets both at home and abroad, another move for Adomah had been regarded as an option.

However, while Steve Bruce was willing to sell the Ghanaian in the summer, Smith is adamant he does not want to lose one of his side principal play-makers. As a result, there appears little prospect of Adomah signing for a second spell on Teesside.

“I have no thoughts for Albert in January,” said the Villa boss, who replaced Bruce in October. “He is an Aston Villa player, and I am enjoying working with him.

“He is one of the nicest fellows I have worked with, and he showed some quality against Birmingham City before being unfortunately brought down.

“He has been a great lad since I have been here, and put in consistent performances. With him coming back, along with the likes of (Anwar) El Ghazi and (Jonathan) Kodjia, we have some real fire power.”

Adomah is about to enter the final 18 months of his current deal, but Smith has indicated a desire to tie him to a new contract.

As well as looking to recruit players in January, Pulis could also move on a number of high-earners who are struggling to claim a first-team spot.

Britt Assombalonga is the likeliest victim, although Steve Gibson will be reluctant to accept much less than the club-record £15m fee that was paid to Nottingham Forest. Despite recently claiming he did not want to move in January, Martin Braithwaite could also be sacrificed as part of a reshuffle.