Arca pens new deal
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sunderland midfielder Julio Arca has signed a new contract with the club.Sunderland midfielder Julio Arca has signed a new contract with the North East club.
The Argentine star has penned a new deal until 2007 with The Black Cats and the news brings an end to the uncertainty over his future at The Stadium of Light.
The 23-year-old's previous contract was due to expire at the season's end, but the South American's commitment to stay for the following two seasons will boost Mick McCarthy's promotion plans.
Arca stated that he always wanted to sign a new deal with the Wearsiders and that it was a case of getting the contract sorted.
"It was just a case of getting everything right. I gave the manager my word that if the club was fair to me, I would sign," Arca told the club's official website.
"I'm pleased to get it sorted because it was a big decision for me.
"I want to win promotion with Sunderland, that's the aim now. I hope the fans are pleased. I have a good relationship with them which is always important to me.
"I'm ambitious and I want to play in The Premiership again. I'm hoping I can do it next season with Sunderland."
Sunderland chairman Bob Murray added his delight at securing Arca's services by stating the important it was keep one of the club's top players.
"Mick was very keen for us to sign him (Arca) - he was due a Bosman in the summer," Murray told Sky Sports News.
"With clubs, nowadays, that puts enormous pressure on us when the player gets into the last year of his contract - particularly somebody that you are desperate to keep.
"Despite usurping his value, because he cost us £3.5 million, we've obviously got him for another few years and that's a major boost to us.
"Everybody was expecting him to go to Celtic or to a Premier League club and the deal would be done in the window.
"He's a strange guy, actually - he's very honest and very straight-forward and his agent we consider to be a friend.
"It was very important that we seem to make every endeavour to keep somebody whose more than proved himself at the club.
"We, as a club, need to get into The Premiership to satisfy players like Julio, who have ambitions to play at that level."
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