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Schwarzer rejects new Middlesbrough contract offer

The Australian is out-of-contract next summer and wants to pledge his future to Boro, the club he has spent ten seasons with.

However, Schwarzer wants a two-year contract, something which at the moment Boro are unwilling to give to the 34-year-old.

"He knows we would like him to stay. He would actually like to stay longer than we have offered him - so he is committed here," boss Gareth Southgate told Sky Sports News .

"He is a very professional person, his performances have been excellent and his commitment to the team has been excellent."

Southgate admits he can understand Schwarzer's frustration but insists he will not be forced into giving him a long-term deal.

"He wants to play through to the next World Cup (in 2010), so his concern is that if he signs a one-year extension and finds himself out of contract in the summer before the next tournament, it could affect his chances of being involved," he added.

"I can totally understand where he's coming from and, as a manager, it's something I'm going to have to think about.

"Can I offer him that extra year that he wants? He's a fit lad but, when you're at the age that he is, none of us have a crystal ball to know how long players can go on for.

"There's no problem at all between us and we've discussed everything that's been happening.

"He's a very professional person, and his performances and commitment to the team have been excellent.

"He's an outstanding goalkeeper and the understanding that we have is that we'll discuss the contract again a bit later in the year.

"He wants to focus on playing and put that to one side. With the type of professional he is, I'm happy to do exactly that."

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Tribal Football Staff

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