NEIL WARNOCK has confirmed that Middlesbrough have parted company with Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher, with the pair no longer even training at Rockliffe Park.

Boro ended a five-game winless run as they triumphed 2-1 at Rotherham United last night, but neither Assombalonga nor Fletcher were anywhere to be seen as goals from George Saville and Chuba Akpom secured victory at the New York Stadium.

The attacking duo were due to become free agents in June, but their departure has been brought forward after Warnock decided there was no point retaining them in his squad for the remaining three games of the season.

Fletcher turned down Boro’s offer of a new deal on reduced terms, while Assombalonga, who remains the club’s record signing, was not offered a new contract, and Warnock suspects the pair have already agreed terms elsewhere.

“We’ve told them that they won’t be involved again now,” said the Boro boss. “They won’t play and they won’t train with us. I just felt it was the right time. It’s difficult for players as well – it’s not their fault altogether.

“I thought it was time after I brought on Britt on at the weekend. When you’re looking at next season and you know you’re not going to be here, both of them have probably got another club now, so I’m told. I didn’t think there was any point carrying on. We’ve agreed to let them both go – it’s only two more weeks.”

While Assombalonga and Fletcher will not be involved next season, Marvin Johnson, who is also due to become a free agent at the end of the current campaign, remains in talks over a possible new deal. The 30-year-old lined up at left wing-back yesterday.

“Marvin played today, and I’ve not made my mind up about quite a few things if I’m honest,” said Warnock. “I think the next three games will be interesting in that respect. There’s maybe not a lot to play for, but in my eyes, there is.”

Hayden Coulson, Djed Spence and Darnell Fisher were not involved in yesterday’s victory, although unlike Assombalonga and Fletcher, their absences did not relate to their futures.

“Hayden started shivering a bit at the hotel,” said Warnock. “He had a Covid test and it was negative, but we decided not to risk him and send him home. That’s when Chuba came in.

“Djed’s got a slight problem with his groin, and Darnell has had a scan. We don’t know how bad that is. He’s got something there, and they were getting a second opinion today about whether he’ll play again in the next three games. I don’t know.”