Middlesbrough skipper extends stay on Teesside

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Middlesbrough skipper Gary O'Neil has extended his stay on Teesside after the club took up a two-year option on his contract.

The 26-year-old joined Boro in a £5million move from Portsmouth in August 2007 with just minutes of the transfer window to spare.

He signed a three-year deal with the option of another two years, and now the Teessiders, who have slipped to 14th place in the Coca-Cola Championship table as a result of Sunday's 2-0 derby defeat at Newcastle, have exercised that option.

O'Neil initially struggled to settle in the north-east and has been repeatedly linked with a move back to the South Coast.

However, having been appointed skipper by new boss Gordon Strachan, he is seen as a key player in Boro's efforts to drag themselves back into the Barclays Premier League.

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Gary O'Neil

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