JONNY Howson has no intention of retiring at the end of this season and Middlesbrough's captain is hoping to extend his time at the club with a new contract.

Howson is approaching the end of his current deal, which is due to expire this summer. The influential midfielder turns 36 in May but retirement isn't on his mind and even if he doesn't get a new deal at Boro, the former Leeds and Norwich man will look to play on elsewhere.

But ideally, he wants to stay at Boro, who he joined back in 2017.

“It’s not my decision ultimately, but I would love to carry on," said Boro's skipper.

"If there is something there [a contract offer from Boro], then great. I’ve spoke about a fair few different reasons that I’ve got that are priorities and motivation for me. That’s not changed.

"I still feel good and if they want me here then great; if not, I guess I’ll have to look for a new club. But, for the time being, that’s not something I worry about.

"We’ve still got a lot to play for this season and that is honestly my only focus. As has been the case in previous seasons, it will take care of itself at the right time."


Howson is no stranger to contract uncertainty at this stage of a season. In the past two campaigns, he's been in the same position before signing one-year extensions.

He remains hugely important to Michael Carrick's side, having started 22 of Boro's 29 Championship games so far this season.

He said: “I’ve been in these situations a few times now throughout my career, for different reasons.

"Here, this position is the one I’ve been in the past couple of years. The fact is, as much as I would love to carry on playing for as long as I can, it’s not as vital as it used to be, let’s be honest. If I was to stop playing tomorrow, I could look back on my career and everything I’ve achieved with pride.

"There are things that I haven’t achieved that I would have loved to, but it’s not been for a lack of trying.

"I suppose when you get a bid older in life you learn to deal with things better. My outlook now is genuinely: what will be will be. I can’t affect that right now.

"The only thing I can affect is trying to get this team in to the play-offs and putting in good performances. If I’m wanted for another season then great, if not, then thank you very much for everything you’ve given me over the years.

"I’m old enough to know nothing is personal in this game and whatever their decision, it’s absolutely fine. But I do feel good and still think I can offer something for any club."