Middlesbrough are desperately trying to get rid of Martin Braithwaite, despite reports to the contrary – sources have told TEAMtalk.
The Denmark striker has been working hard in training this summer and has earned some big plaudits from new Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate for his efforts and professionalism.
But we can reveal that, despite the high praise, Woodgate is desperate to offload the striker, as his wages are hampering his chances of adding new faces in his squad this summer.
Braithwaite is earning more than £50,000-a-week at Boro, who are believed to have the largest squad wage bill of any team without parachute payments.
And with Braithwaite picking up close to a quarter of a million pounds a month, that is a huge chunk of Boro’s budget – which also has to cope with nearly ten other players on more than £20,000-a-week.
Woodgate has done his best to generate some interest in the striker by praising his attitude and by beaming about his display during Boro’s 4-0 win at Hartlepool over the weekend, leading to talk he could yet secure a long-term stay on Teesside.
“He’s been terrific for us in training, he’s been the best player in training, by a country mile,” said the Boro boss after the match.
“He’s been different class, his attitude has been fantastic, everything we’ve asked him to do he’s done professionally. He’s on the players, he raises the standard of training.
“You saw today that cross-field pass he hit to Jonny Howson – he’s been fantastic, he’s been really, really good.
“His ability has never been in question and his attitude is not in question. With me he’s been absolutely first class.”
Woodgate had hoped to see some progress in the transfer market, but instead has already seen a number of targets move elsewhere.
As it stands, Boro might have to loan Braithwaite – who spent last season in Spain with Leganes – again, but they want all his wages covering, which is an issue.
However, should they fail to do so, at least Boro will be left with a player, who – on the evidence of the pre-season so far – is determined to prove his worth to the current management.
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