Neven Subotic returning to play football was always going to drag up the possibility of a winter move to Middlesbrough.

Borussia Dortmund and Middlesbrough agreed an €8m fee in the summer for the transfer of Subotic, and everything looked to be sailing through. However, it was then decided Subotic needed an operation and the transfer was subsequently called off.

One problem had seemed to lead to another for Subotic and several injuries and issues piled on together. It would have been unwise for Middlesbrough to try and do a deal anyway, but things may be different now.

After appearing in an U23 match, Subotic spoke to German newspaper Bild about his situation. Bild, as they often do, got straight to the point and asked if after the failed Middlesbrough move he’s planning to complete a transfer in the January window.

Subotic replied: “This is an option. Before then there is still a bit of time. My concentration at the moment is: If I do not play games and get on the pitch, I cannot offer anything for Borussia Dortmund or any other club in the world. That’s why this is the most important thing now.”

If Subotic gets some games behind him then Aitor Karanka may well decide to complete the deal, and Middlesbrough will likely be able to negotiate a smaller fee.