MIDDLESBROUGH’S hopes of signing Ched Evans have been dealt a blow by Billy Davies’ departure from Nottingham Forest.
Tony Mowbray, the Teessider’s manager, is keen on luring the Sheffield United striker to the North-East but must sell Kris Boyd before tabling a firm bid.
Boyd, who spent the remainder of last season on loan at the City Ground, has been told he has no future at Middlesbrough despite arriving on a free transfer from Glasgow Rangers less than 12 months ago.
Davies had made noises about recruiting the 27-year-old on a permanent basis before being sacked on Sunday evening.
Steve McClaren, his replacement at Forest, is unlikely to show similar interest meaning Mowbray’s pursuit of Evans is back to square one.
Leicester City have also been linked with a move for the United marksman but, as The Star confirmed last month, view Everton’s Yakubu Aiyegbeni as their top priority.
However, despite being taken over by a consortium of Thai businessmen, City are refusing to match the £35,000 a week he earns at Goodison Park.
West Ham could yet enter the fray.
Having been relegated from the Championship, Evans is among a number of high-earners United would prefer to off-load ahead of next season’s League One campaign.
Darius Henderson could also be destined for the exit door with Hull monitoring his situation closely.
The former Watford attacker has insisted he will not ask to leave South Yorkshire after admitting he feels “personally responsible” for United’s plight last term having missed the majority of the season with a serious injury.
“I haven’t put in a request,” Henderson said. “And I won’t be either.”