Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate has played down speculation linking striker Britt Assombolonga with a move to Premier League side Aston Villa, according to GazetteLive.

Villa are looking for reinforcements this month following long-term injuries to Wesley Moraes and Tom Heaton who will not play again this season.

“Just what you read in the papers. There’s nothing in that story, not that I know of,” said Woodgate.

“Honestly, I haven’t heard anything about that. Neil (Bausor, CEO) hasn’t mentioned anything to me.

“With these stories sometimes people chance it, say ‘I’m in the know’ but I’m not too sure they are.”

Dean Smith’s side will likely make signings as they look to retain their Premier League status for next season.

Assombolonga is one player who has been linked as a replacement for Wesley.

The 27-year-old has established himself as one of the most recognisable strikers in the Championship and could be keen to make the step up to the English top-flight, especially at this point of his career.

Furthermore, Boro are currently in 16th position on the Championship standings and 8 points adrift of eighth place Swansea City.

Barring a massive improvement, they will probably not be in the running for a place in the Premier League next season. This is another factor which could make Assombolonga lean towards leaving the club.

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