JONATHAN WOODGATE has confirmed Darren Randolph is on the brink of completing his exit from Middlesbrough.

Randolph is currently finalising the terms of a return to West Ham United, with the Premier League club understood to be paying around £4m to re-sign the goalkeeper two-and-a-half years after he left East London for Teesside.

West Ham have subjected the Republic of Ireland international to a rigorous medical as he is currently struggling with a hip problem, but the deal should go through in the next 24 hours.

Woodgate said: “Darren is in negotiations with a Premier League team at the minute. He’s in negotiations so let’s see what happens.”

Randolph will be the first player to leave Middlesbrough this month, and Woodgate is hoping a portion of any transfer fee will be made available for reinvestment.

He said: “If we make transfers, then let’s see (if the money is available). You’d like to think so, but you never know. We can always try to improve the squad and we’re looking at doing that regularly.”

Boro return to action with a home game against Derby County on Saturday, and Daniel Ayala will once again miss out because of an ankle problem.

An initial assessment has suggested the Spaniard’s injury, which was sustained in the win at Preston, is not as bad as initially feared, but Boro are set to get a second verdict at the start of next week.

Woodgate said: “Ayala? We’re going to see another specialist on that to get another update and see where we are. We’re looking at maybe Monday for a second view on what timescale we have. I’ll know more then. It’s hopefully not too bad.

“I couldn’t believe it when it happened. But Paddy (McNair) came on and I thought he was good, and then he was very good again against Spurs.”

Britt Assombalonga will also miss this weekend’s game and the FA Cup replay against Tottenham, but could be available for the league game at Fulham a week on Friday.

Woodgate said: “Britt’s just been into my office, and maybe he’ll be okay for Fulham. Fingers crossed, but maybe.”