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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 4, 2006

No new Boro deal for Hasselbaink

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has told Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink he will not be offered a new contract.

The 34-year-old's two-year deal expired at the weekend but, with the Dutchman attracting interest from Celtic, Southgate has confirmed the striker's future lies away from the Riverside Stadium.

Southgate told the club's official website: 'I have spoken to Jimmy and explained to him that we are not going to renew his contract.

'It was a very difficult decision to make because he has done an excellent job for us.

'I have to make some tough decisions in this job and this one certainly wasn't easy, but I have to do what I think is right for the club.

'Jimmy's a good player and I'm sure he will score goals for somebody. But I've got excellent striking options here and feel we really need to strengthen in other positions that have to take priority.

'He scored some very important goals for us over the last two seasons, helping to get us into Europe in the first place and then playing a big part in our run to the UEFA Cup final.'

Hasselbaink joined Boro on a free transfer from Chelsea in July 2004, and scored 35 goals in his two seasons at the Riverside Stadium.

He was signed to play alongside £4.5million hitman Mark Viduka in attack, and the pair formed a formidable partnership in their first season together.

However, then manager Steve McClaren increased competition for places last summer when he paid Portsmouth £7.5million for Aiyegbeni Yakubu, and Hasselbaink was the man to miss out as the campaign got under way.

But he proved a valuable weapon when used, particularly during the club's UEFA Cup campaign, scoring the only goal at Grasshoppers and finding the net in Stuttgart and Rome before re-igniting the quarter-final clash with Basle as Boro fought back from the dead.

By the end of the campaign, it was Yakubu warming the bench as Hasselbaink and Viduka attempted to fire the club to glory.

Southgate's appointment last month left the new manager with difficult decisions to make with the Dutchman among the club's top earners and thought to be looking for a two-year deal.

He was briefly considered as a short-term option by Newcastle, but Celtic now appear to be in the box seat.

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