Rudy Gestede has left Middlesbrough after refusing to play beyond his contract expiry date of June 30.

Gestede follows team-mate Daniel Ayala in making the decision and he will become a free agent as of Tuesday.

The striker leaves Middlesbrough three-and-a-half years after joining the club for £6m. In that time, he's only started 20 league games and scored six league goals.

It has been a downward spiral for the 31-year-old since his decision to leave Ewood Park in the summer of 2015.

Then he secured himself a £6m move to Aston Villa, before moving to the Riverside for the same figure in January 2017, but in that time has made more substitute appearances than starts.

In all he’s scored just 18 times since leaving Rovers, fewer than he managed in his final season at Ewood Park. His 22 goals in 2014/15 took him to 35 in Rovers colours across a two-and-a-half year spell after arriving from Cardiff, initially on loan.

News of the Benin striker’s departure came before Middlesbrough’s win at Stoke City under new boss Neil Warnock.

Warnock, who replaced Jonathan Woodgate in the lead up to the win over the Potters, says decisions are yet to be finalised over the future of five other out of contract players, but with Gestede being unwilling to see out the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign, he will leave on a free transfer.

"I have had so much on my mind this week,” Warnock said.

"I had a good chat with Rudy, I asked him to stay but he said he wasn't prepared to do that.

"I said ‘you might as well go home now’. I sent him off on Thursday, there's no point in doing anything else.

"The other lads, I've spoken to most of them but I'm not 100 per cent so you'll have to ask me next week."