Newspaper reports from the North-East state that Yeovil Town loan pair Jonathan Grounds and Jonathan Franks have now been told to find new clubs. The duo, who completed the 2011-12 season at Huish Park are one of a number of Middlesbrough players who are out of contract at the Riverside Stadium and the Northern Echo reports this morning that four of them have been already told that they can find new clubs.
In addition to Grounds and Franks, the paper names Danny Coyne and Barry Robson as having left the Championship side, and suggests that there will probably be more departures later. But regardless of that, it does appear to confirm that the left-back and right-winger are now able to negotiate their way as free agents - particularly important given that Franks is under-24 and therefore falls under the Bosman cut-off for young players.
Speaking to BBC Somerset after Saturday's match at Huddersfield Town, certainly that was manager Gary Johnson's understanding, when he named the players he was offering contracts to. He said Grounds and Franks were free to look elsewhere:
"They've both been told that they can find new clubs. They are two of the ones that we've made offers to, along with Hunts, Ayling, Upson, Williams, Blizzard and Gavin Williams. They are the ones. Bondz is already under contract anyway, and Haynes-Brown is on a contract, so we need to build around them."
As revealed earlier today, Gavin Williams has since signed a one year contract, whilst Ed Upson has verbally agreed a two year deal.
In terms of Michael Woods and Richard Hinds, who have yet to be offered deals, Western Gazette scribe Chris Sweet has said via his Twitter account that Woods is expected to be invited back to train for pre-season, whilst any possibility of extending Hinds' stay at Huish Park won't be considered until later in the summer - we're not sure if that's at Johnson's request or the defender's own circumstances.
As yet, there is no word on what is happening with Alistair Slowe and Kelly Youga. We can guess the answer, but nothing has been stated either way.
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