Rudy Gestede is open to offers as he seeks a new challenge following his departure from Middlesbrough.

The striker made the first of two £6m moves when leaving Rovers for Aston Villa in the summer of 2015 and the second 18 months later when he joined Boro on a three-and-a-half year deal.

Gestede was one of several players in the Championship who didn’t feature post-lockdown given their contract uncertain, with the 31-year-old telling talkSPORT that was due to a lack of assurances provided such he pick up an injury in the final nine games.

Gestede scored 22 times in 44 games in his final season at Rovers which earned him a Premier League move, but things have been far from easy since, making a combined 42 league starts across his spells at Villa and Boro, scoring 18 goals across all competitions.

Now back in northern France as he awaits his next opportunity, Gestede knows his next move needs to be the right one.

He said: “I’m open to a new challenge.

“At my age, we need to talk about the conditions and the way they want to play, as it’s not like I’ve got 10 years in front of me.

“I need to pick the right challenge for me and my family, but especially for me and my football, as I know my family will follow me everywhere, so it’s fine.

“It could be in England, it could be somewhere else, I don’t close any doors, I just need to find the right one for me.”

Injuries haven’t been kind to Gestede since he left Rovers where he scored 35 times in 72 appearances following his arrival from Cardiff City.

But the Benin international says it’s too easy to just blame injury for his lack of match action.

“When you don’t play week-in, week-out, it’s difficult to be at your best. For the last two or three seasons, it didn’t happen for me unfortunately for many reasons,” he said.

“It’s easy to say injuries but then when I was fit for a year Pulis decided not to play me for no reason. I trained, and trained hard as always, but it’s football sometimes and a human being’s choice and you just get on with it.

“When you don’t play for a long period of time and you come back, obviously you can’t be at your best. But because you’re not at your best, the manager doesn’t play you in the next game, so you just go in a negative spiral and it’s difficult to perform.

“It has been difficult but now it’s behind me and I’m looking forward to a new challenge. I keep myself busy every day and stay fit. It’s part of my book but it’s a new chapter for me now.”

Gestede’s reason for leaving Boro came down to a lack of arrangement over his contract, something he had raised with Jonathan Woodgate and CEO Neil Bausor even before Neil Warnock’s arrival.

“It’s easy to ask the player to play for eight games, but I’m 31-years-old and out of contract, and if something happened to me like the injury I had in the past, who is going to give me a contract after that? So, I’ve been straight and honest with them,” he explained.

“I don’t want to go into the details, but at the end of the day, I said: ‘Listen, if you don’t take the risk, I don’t take the risk’.

“We didn’t have any confrontation or he didn’t say he didn’t want me if I wasn’t willing to play. We just had an adult chat and there was an explanation and everybody was happy with it.”