By Matt Bullin

Nottingham Forest have suffered a major blow to their chances of keeping hold of key striker Britt Assombalonga as he wants to leave the East Midlands club, according to a report.

The Nottingham Post claims Championship title-contenders Middlesbrough are leading the race for the 24-year-old striker, and they are ready to pay £14million and offer him £60,000-a-week to prise him away from the City Ground.

It is said that a decision on Assombalonga’s future at Nottingham Forest will be made within a matter of days.

The report also states Premier League side Burnley are weighing up a second offer for the 24-year-old, after their first offer of £8million was rejected.

The Post claims the Claret and Blues’ are ready to offer right-sided utility player Tendayi Darikwa as part of a deal for Assombalonga.

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It is also said Watford and Huddersfield are also interested in the striker, who scored 14 goals in 32 Championship outings last season.

He arrived at the City Ground in the summer of 2014 in move from Peterborough worth around £6million, and he has since made 69 appearances in all competitions, which have yielded 30 goals.

Football Insider verdict

Forest seem to be resigned to losing Assombalonga this summer, so if they do sell him it is important they get the right price for him. The £14million which Boro are said to be touting would mark a decent transfer fee for the 24-year-old, but the east Midlands club will hope to spark a bidding war with so many clubs still interested. It remains to be seen where Assombalonga sees his future, and with £60,000-a-week reportedly on the table it may be difficult for him to turn down Middlesbrough, even if a Premier League club throw their hat into the ring.

In other Nottingham Forest news, Warburton has confirmed his third summer signing.

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