Marcel Brands must be decisive on the future of Yannick Bolasie during the January transfer window after Middlesbrough ruled out a move for the Everton winger.
According to The Northern Echo, Neil Warnock has admitted it is extremely unlikely that his Championship side will sign Bolasie during the mid-season market.
Warnock had been keen to revisit the forward’s situation after seeing a season-long loan fall through at the eleventh hour on Deadline Day in October, but is yet to have any contact with the DR Congo international this month.
Bolasie had agreed on the terms to his move to the north-east in the previous window after naming Middlesbrough as his preferred destination, amid alleged rival interest from Blackburn Rovers and Millwall.
Bolasie now faces a fraught January awaiting news of a potential move away from Everton, with a route to Middlesbrough seemingly now closed off.
“We’re still looking at wide players, but I’ve not spoken to Yannick for about a month really,” Warnock said. “There’s nothing in that at all at the moment. I’ve not spoken to him for about a month, so I can’t see it happening without me speaking to him.”
The Boro boss has spoken with a range of other potential targets as he strives to improve the ranks at the Riverside Stadium, where Football Insider add that club chiefs are actively pursuing alternatives to Bolasie.
News of Middlesbrough moving on to alternative targets will come as a huge blow for Everton as they strived to offload the £3m-rated outcast ahead of him becoming a free agent in the summer.
The January sales present Everton’s last chance to recoup some of the £25m paid to Crystal Palace in 2016, having failed to sell Bolasie previously after mixed loan spells with Aston Villa, RSC Anderlecht and Sporting CP following his lacklustre return from a serious knee injury.
He will likely now leave Merseyside this year having only played 32 games for the Blues, scoring twice and providing four assists, and not featuring at all since Sam Allardyce’s final game at the helm in the 2017/18 season.
But Brands must be decisive on how Bolasie’s Everton career ends, as he will no doubt be loath to see owner Farhad Moshiri continuing to pay £75,000-per-week to a player who is offering absolutely nothing to Ancelotti.
The Dutch chief may be able to turn to Blackburn Rovers or Millwall’s prior interest now that Middlesbrough is no longer an option, as Rovers have already signed Jarrad Branthwaite on loan from Everton this month while the Lions are facing a potential relegation fight in the Championship.
Millwall are currently just six points clear of the drop-zone, having won just once in their last 15 league games, while manager Gary Rowett has seen Jed Wallace provide four of the five goals scored by wide midfield players at The Den to date this term.
Everton would likely have to cover some of Bolasie’s wages to see him join either second-tier side, but that would still be a better option than seeing him continue to completely bleed owner Farhad Moshiri dry.