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Viduka to open Boro talks
12 Feb 2007 - 10:58:23
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate is keen to open contract talks with Mark Viduka in a bid to extend the Australian striker's stay on Teesside.
The former Celtic and Leeds United star's contract expires at the end of this season, but Southgate is determined to keep the forward at the Riverside Stadium.
"I'm keen to move ahead with it as quickly as we can," Southgate told Boro's official website.
"It's important that we keep the players that we have. As I discovered last summer, it's very difficult to get players from other clubs, so it makes little sense to let our best players move on.
"During the transfer window is a difficult time for everybody and it's difficult to negotiate. We haven't got things underway yet but the games have been coming thick and fast and Mark was away with the Australia squad last week too.
"We want to get it wrapped up as soon as we possibly can. I think everybody wants to sit down and start discussions."
Viduka is in a rich vein of form having scored six goals in his last seven appearances for Boro and has netted 18 times in 62 Premiership games for the club since his £4.5million transfer from Leeds United in July 2004.