MIDDLESBROUGH won't be exercising the option to make Sam Greenwood's loan deal permanent this summer, with the forward returning to Leeds United and Boro pursuing other attacking targets.

Boro agreed a £1.5m option to sign Greenwood when he moved to the Riverside on loan from Leeds last summer.

That agreement was between the clubs and the added layer of complication was always the fact Greenwood is in line to receive a significant pay rise should Leeds win promotion and return to the Premier League.

But regardless of whether Daniel Farke's side win the play-offs this month, Boro will opt against signing Greenwood this summer.

Boro have instead lined up other attacking targets as they look to bolster the attacking midfield area, a priority this summer with Greenwood departing and Morgan Rogers and Matt Crooks leaving in January.

Finn Azaz joined in the winter window and enjoyed a promising end to the campaign, Isaiah Jones was a regular this term, Riley McGree and Marcus Forss are expected to be fit again for the start of pre-season and Alex Gilbert staked his claim with two eye-catching displays against Cardiff and Watford.


Greenwood enjoyed a promising start to life on Teesside and scored four in six games in a hugely impressive spell in October and November, including a strike against his boyhood club Sunderland and a stunning free-kick to beat Leicester City, which was last week selected as the club's Goal of the Season.

He scored in the win at Swansea in December but that proved to be his last goal for the club and he only chipped in with one assist in the second half of the season.

Although he kept his place in the team, the 22-year-old's struggled for form from the turn of the year. He didn't start any of the last four games of the season, an indicator at the time that his stay was coming to an end.

He did make an impact from the bench in the final game, teeing up Alex Bangura for the crucial second goal to put Boro back in front after Watford had equalised.

Greenwood took to social media earlier this week and wrote: "A club full of great people! Staff, teammates and supporters thank you for this season. Full of ups & downs and I’ve loved every minute, time to rest up and recover."

Several Boro teammates replied and wished Greenwood well, including Hayden Hackney, who said: "Gunna miss you bro."

Speaking at the club's end of season awards last week, Greenwood said he'd "loved" his time on Teesside.