Manager admits situation is complex
Wheater's Bolton move unlikely
TONY Mowbray has challenged Mido to earn a place in the Middlesbrough first team, and admitted David Wheater's proposed move to Bolton Wanderers has effectively collapsed.
Mido has spent the last three days training at Rockliffe Park, having turned his back on his former employers, Ajax, at the start of the month.
The striker's contractual situation is complex, as Ajax effectively took over the final year of his pre-existing deal with Middlesbrough when they signed him last summer.
However, Mido's representatives are close to striking a deal with the Dutch club that could enable him to play for Boro in the final four months of the season.
The Egyptian was hardly a roaring success during his previous spell at the Riverside, scoring seven goals in 32 appearances and earning a reputation for being surly and aloof.
But having watched the striker at close quarters this week, Mowbray feels he could be of benefit to Boro's attempts to climb the Championship table.
Mido's contract situation is complicated, said the Middlesbrough manager. But he's in discussions trying to get a release from Ajax, so that would suggest he is Ajax's player.
As the manager of this football club, for me I suppose it's about the potential of having a player of Mido's undoubted quality to help our scenario. I've heard all the thoughts of the people around the football club, whether it be coaches or kit men, everyone's got an opinion on Mido.
But for me, the bottom line is Let's wait and see'.
I judge people as I find them, and I've formed my own opinion from having a conversation with Mido and watching him train. As we go on, I don't see a problem. If there is a problem, it's an easy one to solve. It's not as though there's a large amount of money flying about or contracts or anything like that.
One fear expressed by Middlesbrough supporters this week is that Mido could return on the same contract he agreed when he joined the club in 2007, thereby saddling Mowbray with up to £50,000- a-week extra on the wage bill.
The exact financial arrangements of any deal are still to be thrashed out, but the Boro boss has received firm assurances that the club's finances will not be adversely affected by any decision he makes.
Mido coming back on the contract he was on before he left last summer is not a scenario that will happen, said Mowbray.
I'd be sitting here speculating if we talk about the future too much, but he looks in decent shape and he's trained extremely hard for a few days now. He's done double sessions every day and he's very keen to show he's fit. We'll talk again in a week or so and see what we think.
Mido will not be involved in tomorrow's Championship game at Bristol City, but Wheater will travel to Ashton Gate after his proposed move to Bolton fell through last weekend.
Having previously agreed a fee of £2.5m, rising to £4m on appearances, Bolton officials attempted to re-negotiate a lower price, thereby scuppering a deal. Wheater is also understood to have expressed reservations about moving to the Reebok Stadium.
There is still the potential for further talks, but with Wolves, Everton and Stoke also interested, the defender's future remains unresolved.
I'm slightly surprised David is still here after the events leading up to last weekend,
said Mowbray. Last Friday, I thought it looked likely that David would be leaving the football club imminently.
But as in all transfers, there's lots of parties that need to agree, and in this particular scenario, one party in particular wasn't too enamoured and it didn't work out.
So we're back to the drawing board really.
We're only really one phone call away from having a deal, but David's back in the squad and is coming down to Bristol.
Andrew Taylor has also been named in the Boro party that will travel to the South- West, having trained for a full week following his return from a loan spell at Watford.
Fellow full-back Jonathan Grounds returned from Hibernian yesterday, but will not be considered tomorrow.
Jason Steele, Barry Robson and Marvin Emnes could all return to the starting line-up having missed last weekend's FA Cup defeat at Burton Albion through injury, but Luke Williams has suffered a setback that could sideline him for a number of months.
The teenage winger damaged his ankle ligaments in Wednesday night's FA Youth Cup win over Doncaster Rovers, and while the full extent of the injury was being assessed yesterday, he is unlikely to be available for the first team for the remainder of the season.
Source: Northern Echo
Source: Northern Echo