ANDREW Taylor today revealed his torment at leaving Middlesbrough to take up a “new challenge” at Cardiff City.
Out-of-contract Taylor says that his decision to turn down a new Boro deal was the “hardest decision” he has ever made.
The 24-year-old from Hartlepool has agreed terms with npower Championship rivals Cardiff and expects to finalise his move after having a medical on Monday.
Boro’s only consolation will be that they are entitled to a compensation fee from the Welsh club because Taylor is a home-grown player.
“It was my dream to play for Middlesbrough since I joined them when I was nine and it’s a hard thing to be leaving,” he said.
“I’ll miss it – I have a lot of friends here in the club.
“But, at this point of my career, it’s probably the time I should be moving on and experience something new in football and life.”
Even though Cardiff and Boro will aim to be rivals in the promotion race, Taylor is keeping his fingers crossed that boss Tony Mowbray and chairman Steve Gibson restore top-flight football on Teesside.
“I genuinely wish the club well and I hope Boro get back in the Premier League,” said the ex-England U21 defender.
“That’s where Middlesbrough deserve to be – we shouldn’t have ever been relegated. This club deserves to be in the Premier League – for the chairman, the manager, Mark Proctor and Mark Venus, all staff and, of course, the fans. I hope they have a really good season.
“The last three years have not been nice for the club, especially so for the supporters. They pay good money to watch their football and I would love to see them have something to cheer this season.”
Ex-Sunderland star Julio Arca is now a free agent – after his contract ended at midnight.
Mowbray is resigned to losing the Argentinian, having only been able to offer a contract on drastically reduced terms.