Daniel Ayala has been linked with Leeds United while Jonathan Woodgate’s Boro might lose Adam Clayton and Jonny Howson too.

Middlesbrough are at risk of losing three of their most experienced players with the Northern Echo claiming that Championship rivals have their sights set on Daniel Ayala, Jonny Howson and Adam Clayton.

To say it’s been a miserable start to the season at the Riverside would be an understatement. With 19 games gone, Boro are teetering above the relegation zone with three wins to their name.

Just to rub it in, they are also the league’s lowest scorers and are still reeling from a 4-0 thrashing at Leeds United on Saturday. So the last thing Jonathan Woodgate needed was to know that Middlesbrough could lose three key performers to other Championship clubs – possibly as early as January with their contracts running down.

Leeds United have already been linked with giant centre-back Ayala, according to the Northern Echo, and the Spaniard was one of the few players to come out of that 4-0 thumping at Elland Road with any credit.

An aggressive and commanding defender, without Ayala Leeds would surely have scored five or six.

Howson and Clayton, two players who have already worn the famous white shirt of Leeds United, have both featured regularly under Woodgate too. The former has been re-purposed as a rampaging right-back while the latter has ten starts to his name in central midfield.

One of the main problems facing Boro is their overreliance on young, unproven players – so Woodgate will be praying that they don’t lose Ayala, Clayton and Howson with Championship survival on the line.

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