Arca accepts the need for change
Julio Arca accepts he will have to take a pay cut to stay at Middlesbrough, but admits he will have to think about himself if the offer to extend his stay in the North-East does arrive. It will be 11 years in the summer since the skilful South American arrived in the region and he fears this could be his last season here. As one of the highest paid players at the Riverside Stadium, Arca is aware that Boro's bleak financial outlook means he will not be offered similar terms to extend his stay. But he is ready to discuss taking a drop in wages, although with suggestions of Premier League interest from Wigan, Bolton and Birmingham, he will be in no rush to commit. Arca said: If the club decide to offer me something then they know I would be open to listen. If they don't, I have to go and pack my suitcase and move somewhere else. It's simple. That is what happens. If they are really interested in me staying, then I am happy to talk. If they are not, I won't be angry, I have respect. You have to take that as a footballer. It's understandable because of the situation at the club that I would have to take a pay cut if it is going to happen. I know my salary will not stay as it is if I stay. They have to look after themselves and their future and I have to think about my future. I will probably only play for another four or five years. Maybe we can reach some sort of agreement, time well tell. Arca moved to Sunderland in 2000 when Peter Reid agreed to pay £1.75m to Argentinos Juniors and he made the short switch to the Riverside six years later. His move to Teesside has never gone as smoothly as he would have liked, with Gareth Southgate unable to keep Boro in the Premier League and Gordon Strachan failing to lead them to promotion. The North-East is like a second home now, said the 30- year-old. It's always hard to leave a place where you feel comfortable. When I left Sunderland, I stayed in the same house, if it happened now I would probably have to look somewhere else. I just have to look at playing as well as I can in the next nine games and see what happens. If there are no options here, I will have to look somewhere else. The last six months under Tony Mowbray have, arguably, been the most enjoyable of his time on Teesside and the manager has hinted he would like him to stay. I have been enjoying it under Tony, said Arca. As a player I always wanted the support of the manager and the staff. I played under Gordon, in different positions, but this style of football suits me better. I don't mind changing positions but it's hard to change all of the time. Maybe it would have been better if this manager would have been here all of the time. Who knows. We just have to focus on staying in the league this season. The manager will bring new faces in in the summer, move others on, and then we will see. Things look better and results have improved, even if they are not great. Boro's trip to Cardiff City on April 30 has been rescheduled for Sky television. It will now take place on Monday, May 2, at 5.15pm. Former Boro keeper Brad Jones has moved on loan to Derby from Liverpool. Putting smiles on the faces of young fans Julio Arca and Andrew Davies helped to put smiles on the faces of young fans at the Butterwick House Children's Hospice yesterday. The pair played on the game console and joined in arts and crafts with Jordan Dee and Owen Swift at the centre in Stockton-on-Tees, and Davies took time to draw a picture of his teammate! Jordan, 15, and Owen, 12, from Redcar and Coulby Newham respectively, showed the Championship club pair around the only Hospice of its kind between Wetherby and Newcastle. Around £800,000-a-year is required to run the Hospice and community fundraiser Tracy Bowstead said: There are 58 different families who come here and children between the ages of newborn to 19 come with a variety of illnesses. The Boro stars went as part of the Community Champions scheme and Arca said: The good thing is that these boys are trying to do what any child would do. They have their season cards, they go away from home to watch the team, they do everything they can and that's good. They have the support of the family and the people here. It's only little what we are doing by coming along but I hope it has helped to keep them smiling. The Butterwick House Children's Hospice are always looking for fundraising activities and volunteers. Anyone interested can contact 01642 628930.
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