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Boro defiant over Downing

19 January 2008 11:06
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has again spoken of his desire to keep Stewart Downing at the club, insisting that no bid has been lodged for the England winger. The 23-year-old has so far failed to agree a new contract with the Teessiders, with Spurs, Everton and Portsmouth reportedly monitoring the situation closely. However, Southgate remains defiant about the prospects of Downing moving on in the near future. He said: "We still haven't received a bid for Downing and I hope it doesn't happen before January 31. "He is a player I think the world of. I want him to be part of our future, I see him as part of our plans. "I was very interested to see Stewart's agent on TV telling us what may or may not happen. As far as I am concerned I don't want anything to happen. "Stewart is a player I don't want to lose. He is a very important player for us and he is our top scorer. "He has been fantastic in my time here. As a manager, he doesn't cause me any problems whatsoever, he is a huge asset to us. That's why I want to keep him here. "We have been in negotiations with Stewart and his adviser for a while now. There is an impasse at the moment on a new deal, but nothing I think that cannot be resolved."

Source: ESA