Middlesbrough boss wants Wheater to sign new deal

The 23-year-old’s current deal is set to expire at the end of the season.

“I hope he will be an important part [of the club’s future],” Mowbray said.

“The contractual situation is what it is with David and it’s not something I’ve looked at. But I have spoken to him and told him how much I appreciate his talent.

“I like what I see and hopefully we can resolve the situation as soon as possible.

“He’s a big asset for the club and we need to try and protect that asset, but if we do have to let him go we must make sure we get some value.

“Talented players deserve to play right at the top of the tree, and when we are struggling at the bottom of the Championship who are we to stand in his way?

“But all I can do is express my appreciation of his talent and hope that he sees an opportunity to give me and the club time to achieve where he wants to be playing at.

“I can see already in the first few days he’s very commanding and he knows his job.

“Everybody tells me he went through a sticky patch last year, but he looks on the ball to me and very confident and assured.”