Amid ongoing uncertainty surrounding his future, Nigerian striker Chuba Akpom insists he will love to stay at Middlesbrough as he enters into the last 12 months of his contract on Teesside, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Akpom enjoyed the best season of his career last term, winning the Championship’s Golden Boot and Player of The Year awards, but his long-term future on Teesside is unclear, with his current deal due to expire next summer.
The 27-year-old’s impressive performance last season saw him linked with a move away from the club with Everton and Crystal Palace both interested in the forward.
In a quote by Northern Echo, the former Arsenal player insisted that he wanted to remain with Middlesbrough, adding that negotiations were ongoing between his representatives and the club.
“Yeah, of course (I want to stay),” he said.
“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.”
Middlesbrough kick off their Championship season with a home fixture against Millwall this weekend, with Akpom a major doubt for the game.
On his return to fitness, having missed the entire pre-season games, the Nigerian said, “I’ve had some setbacks. I picked up the injury against Coventry, last game, came back and then did something again.
“It’s nothing major though and I’m slowly getting there. I’m back on the grass and running and doing individual ball work, so it’s good progress. I don’t want to put a timeframe on it, I just go on how I feel really.
“You don’t want to rush it and get re-injured. So I take it day-by-day, but I can say I’m in a good position right now.
“I’ve never had a pre-season where I’ve been injured. This is probably the first time. Obviously last year I didn’t play much, just 30 minutes against Marseille. But then I did have the training to back that up. This year I’ve been injured the whole time obviously, but I know that I can get back to my top form. I just need a bit of time but I’ll get there.”