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McDonald future remains up in the air at Boro
TONY MOWBRAY is confident striker Scott McDonald will give everything for Middlesbrough if he is still at the Riverside Stadium next season.
The Aussie striker still has a year to run on the lucrative contract he signed in January 2010 and Mowbray would like to move him on to free up more money on the club's wage bill.
There have been previous discussions aimed at reaching a settlement over the remaining term of his contract but they have proven unsuccessful.
And there could still be more talks of a similar nature in the coming weeks, with McDonald's final 12 months believed to be worth more than £1.5m.
However, if the £3.5m buy from Celtic is still at Middlesbrough when the season starts next month, Mowbray is certain the forward will continue to be as professional as he has always been under him.
"The next few weeks will dictate that (whether he goes)," said Mowbray. "Salaries from a different era is a fair assessment of it really. Scott understands that, we understand that. To move forward as we would like, we could probably use Scott's money in different ways. While he is here, I have to commend him because he has worked very hard."
It was a similar situation facing McDonald last summer, when Middlesbrough hoped to have struck a deal that would have seen the forward depart.
So when the Championship campaign started, the 29-year-old never appeared in a Boro shirt until the beginning of October when he was recalled at Watford, scoring in a 2-1 win.
McDonald has already been heavily involved in pre-season training this time around and Mowbray is likely to have learned lessons from 12 months ago.
If McDonald is with the club on August 3, the Boro boss thinks the most prolific Middlesbrough striker of the last three years combined will still be doing everything he can to help the team's cause.
"At the start of last season, even with decisions I made, he got his head down, scored goals and worked extremely hard," Mowbray told BBC Tees.
"Nothing has really changed, we still find ourselves in the same situation with Scott as I have found for the last couple of years.
"It's not Scott's fault. He came here, signed a contract and he is honouring it. He trains hard, wants to play, and we will see what the next few weeks bring. He will give everything for the team."
McDonald top scored with 13 goals last season and has hit 37 league goals in 116 appearances, 14 as a substitute, for Middlesbrough since Gordon Strachan took him from Celtic in January 2010.
But Mowbray is keen to give his squad an overhaul and is restricted by stricter budgetary constraints following four years outside of the Premier League.
He has already landed Dean Whitehead and Jozsef Varga to bolster his midfield options this summer, but he is keen to bring in more attacking and defensive options before the visit of Leicester on August 3.
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