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Boro rule out Downing exit
28 Jan 2008 - 09:39:10
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has slammed the door shut on England winger Stewart Downing being allowed to leave the club in the January transfer window.
The 23-year-old had been linked with both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, with talks over a new contract with Boro having hit the buffers.
However, Southgate commented: "Stewart is not for sale, both myself and the chairman Steve Gibson told him that. He is a very important player for us.
"Stewart met with the chairman on Thursday and is probably letting it all sink in.
"January is an unsettling period for many players. Some think they are on their way when they aren't and some want to be on their way and end up staying.
"As far as we are concerned with Stewart, it is dead."
Downing has scored 15 goals in 173 appearances for the Teessiders to date, as well as winning 16 international caps for England.