O'Neil set for new Boro deal

Midfielder to be rewarded with contract extension

O'Neil: New deal

Skysports.com understands Middlesbrough are ready to extend captain Gary O'Neil's contract at the Riverside Stadium.

Boro have an option to extend O'Neil's contract for a further two seasons by the end of December and they are now ready to take up the option to ward off interest from a number of Premier League clubs.

The new deal would keep the highly-rated midfielder on Teesside until 2012 and make him the highest paid player in the Championship.

O'Neil has been made skipper at Middlesbrough since the arrival of Gordon Strachan and the 26-year-old is seen as a key player in the manager's plans for the future.

A host of Premier League sides were understood to be weighing up a move for the former England Under 21 captain in the January transfer window.

Middlesbrough are hoping the new contract will see the goalscoring midfielder stay at the Riverside to help get their faltering promotion bid back on track.