Middlesbrough boss Mowbray plays down Arca return

Julio Arca
Arca left the club when his contract expired at the end of last season but has been training with Middlesbrough since returning to pre-season training

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray has insisted a deal is yet to be completed to re-sign midfielder Julio Arca.

The 30-year-old Argentine left the Teessiders at the end of last season when his contract expired, but this summer returned to train with the club.

"It's not dead until it's dead, we'll wait and see," Mowbray told BBC Tees.

"One paper was definitely finished, another paper said he was definitely staying, I'm pretty sure it will be resolved over the next day or two."

Mowbray added: "For me the finality of trying to put a piece of the jigsaw into the jigsaw, we don't know if he's coming or going.

"I was under the impression that he was going, and for me to be told he might be staying put an awkward spin on things.

"Julio's a great guy, a lovely footballer, but within the restraints it can only happen if it suits all parties."

Another player linked with a potential departure from the Riverside is Australia international Rhys Williams, although Boro are determined to retain the player.

The 23-year-old was the subject of reported summer interest from Premier League club Bolton Wanderers, but started and scored in Saturday's 2-2 Championship opening day draw with Portsmouth.

"We've had one or two discussions, it's only right and pertinent to talk about them if they either get done or don't," Mowbray said.

"We've had talks with Rhys' advisors, and as we go along I'm only trying to put the talent in the draw and give them three or four-year contracts so that we can move on.

"Certain players we know will be here for the next few years and Rhys fits into that category.

"That's as far as we should mention it and, if something materialises over the next few days or weeks, that will be brilliant for the club."