Jonathan Woodgate’s Boro will reportedly let five experienced Championship players leave the Riverside, including star centre-back Daniel Ayala.

Middlesbrough could save around £5 million by letting five experienced performances leave the Riverside stadium this summer, according to the Northern Echo.

It has been a testing season for the North East club and things might get worse still.

Whenever the Championship season resumes, Boro will need to be at the top of their game right from the off, with relegation to the third tier for the first time since 1989 fast becoming a genuine possibility.

With seven key players due to become free agents in the summer, Middlesbrough could also see their playing staff decimated, regardless of which division they find themselves in.

Adam Clayton, Ryan Shotton, Daniel Ayala, Rudy Gestede and Marvin Johnson are all expected to walk away from the Riverside for absolutely nothing.

Every cloud has a silver lining, as the old saying goes, and the Echo claims that the departure of five high-earning members of Jonathan Woodgate’s squad will save the club around £5 million.

Furthermore, influential midfielder Jonny Howson is expected to survive Steve Gibson’s summer cull. George Friend, too, should sign a new deal to keep him in the north east beyond this summer.

And, with the likes of Dael Fry, Ashley Fletcher, Ainsley Pears and Hayden Coulson impressing under Woodgate, Boro at least have a core group of exciting young players giving the fans something to look forward to.

But it remains to be seen whether they can survive with so much experience removed from the dressing room.

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