New Middlesbrough signing Gary O'Neil admits he never wanted to leave Portsmouth.

"I got a phone call from my agent that Portsmouth had accepted an offer from both Fulham and Middlesbrough," O'Neil told The News.

"I certainly wasn't expecting anything to happen - I was getting ready for the Arsenal game. I was just sat at home on a day off and got the phone call that the offers had been accepted.

"If the club accepts an offer, you haven't really got any options. But it's not personal - the club have got ambitions. They've spent a lot of money this summer and they obviously needed to get some back.

"I'm a little bit disappointed to leave when I've been there so long and had some good times there, but this is a new challenge now and I'm looking forward to it."