Middlesbrough Boss: Michael Carrick on Chuba Akpom Contract Situation


Middlesbrough Boss: Michael Carrick on Chuba Akpom Contract Situation
MICHAEL Carrick insists he remains relaxed about Chuba Akpom’s Middlesbrough contract situation, with the head coach’s primary focus on getting last season’s star man back on the pitch.

Carrick had what the Boro boss described as a “good chat” with Akpom at Rockliffe on Thursday morning, the day after the forward had told the media at an EFL launch event that he’d “love to stay” at the club.


Akpom is moving into the final 12 months of his contract on Teesside and while negotiations have taken place between the club and the striker’s representatives, a deal has not yet been reached. Sheffield United were yesterday linked with a move for Akpom, who scooped the Championship’s Golden Boot and Player of the Year awards last season.

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Despite the speculation and uncertainty, Carrick remains unmoved in his analysis of Akpom’s situation.

“He’s our player Chuba and I’m relaxed about that,” said the Boro boss.


“I had a good chat with him this morning and I’m relaxed. He’s got a contract with us. Sometimes when you get into this situation I think everyone can get carried away both ways, but, ultimately, he’s got a contract with the club, we’ve got a great relationship and he’s done great things for me and certainly for the club. So I’m relaxed about it.


“Yeah, we’re trying to have an eye on the future and what that looks like. But my focus is more on getting him back in and around the group and being a part of it, getting him fit where he’s able to perform and play for us.”

Akpom has missed all of Boro’s pre-season programme because of a knee injury he suffered in last season’s play-off semi-final defeat to Coventry, but the 27-year-old is now back on the grass and in light training.

He’s not yet ready to return to group training with the first team squad and it’s not clear at this stage when he’ll be back in action, with tomorrow’s Championship opener against Millwall obviously coming too soon.

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Quizzed on his future this week, Akpom said: “Yeah, of course [I want to stay].


“I’ve made it clear that I feel at home here, so I think me saying that shows that I would love to stay.


“I’ve played my best football here and I just feel very loved by the fans. I still get a lot of love from the fans and I still feel at home at the club, in and around the training ground and stuff.


“We’ll just have to see how things go. A lot of things are not in my control or not in my hands, so I just have to focus on getting fit and being ready to play football again.”

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