TONY PULIS’ future as Middlesbrough manager will be determined by the end of the week.

The former West Brom boss will have talks with Boro chairman Steve Gibson at some stage over the next few days.

Gibson must come up with a way for Middlesbrough to attack the summer after Pulis failed to guide the team to promotion or even a play-off spot.

There remains a mutual respect between the two but it is the case that his contract is set to expire and, despite contrary belief, there is not an option on either side for that to be extended.

Middlesbrough could still offer fresh terms if that was what both parties wanted but it does look increasingly likely that there will be a parting of the ways after his 18 months in charge.

There have been factors behind-the-scenes that have prevented discussions from taking place so far, although given his contract does not expire until June 30 there has been no rush.

Pulis is currently down south at his Bournemouth family home and Gibson will be having a chat with him this week, regardless of whether that is face-to-face or over the phone.

Then Gibson will have to plot a summer plan in the hope of making Middlesbrough stronger next season, despite knowing that financially they will be without another parachute payment from the Premier League.

Supporters of the Teesside club have never really warmed to Pulis’ way of doing things and the failure to end in a play-off spot only put a further dent in that relationship.

At the start of the campaign Middlesbrough wanted to finish in the Championship’s top two but an excellent start wasn’t maintained and, in a difficult division, Middlesbrough fell away with a six-match losing run towards the end of the season crucial.

Middlesbrough will face a big summer regardless of who is in charge because there are a number of players facing uncertain futures, and offers will be listened to some big earners.

Stewart Downing, Dimi Konstantopoulos and Andy Lonergan are set to become free agents, while another, John Obi Mikel, already has offers from elsewhere.