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Downing unwilling to sign
29 Jan 2008 - 08:21:28
Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing will not sign a new contract with the club, according to the England international's representative.
The Teessiders have insisted they will not be selling Downing before the transfer window shuts on Thursday, but the 23-year-old seems certain to be leaving the Riverside Stadium in the near future.
Downing's agent, Ian Elliott, said: "Stewart has made his position quite clear to all parties at Middlesbrough - the chairman, chief executive and Gareth Southgate in private.
"We are surprised by comments released by the manager saying that he has been informed that he is staying and has accepted the situation.
"Indeed he has two years left on his current contract. If he has to see out the remaining two years then so be it.
"We'd point out that the previous offer from the club has been rejected out of hand. We'll not enter into any further negotiations and the player will see out the two years and option his rights under freedom of contract at the end of it.
"If the club value the player at £12million, why didn't they make an offer reflecting that? Whilst this situation is not about money or contract now, the contract previously offered does reflect that of a player at that value."
Downing, who had been linked with both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, has scored 15 goals in 173 appearances for the Teessiders to date, as well as winning 16 international caps for England.