LONDON: Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour has agreed to join Middlesbrough in a deal that will mean a substantial cut in income for both the former England international and his ex-wife.
Provided he passes a medical, Parlour, 31, will join Boro on a three-year contract after the two clubs settled on a fee believed to be in the region of £1.7 million.
The capture of the hard-working midfielder completes a busy summer for Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren, who has already acquired strikers Mark Viduka and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as well as Dutch defender Michael Reiziger.
Parlour's agent Steve Kutner said the deal suited everyone concerned.
“It pays Arsenal a substantial amount subject to appearances and Ray is taking a substantial pay cut in return for signing a three-year contract,” he said.
One person who may not be so keen on the deal is Parlour's ex-wife, Karen Parlour. Earlier this month she won a landmark divorce ruling that she was entitled to one third of the player's future earnings for at least the next four years.
Lawyers for Mrs Parlour argued that Parlour's earning potential as a footballer was a “matrimonial resource”, particularly as she had been instrumental in persuading him to abandon a hard-drinking “laddish” lifestyle that had threatened to undermine his career. – AFP