Tottenham's Stewart Downing £14.5m bid rejected

06 January 2009 08:58
Spurs raised their bid for Downing on Tuesday night by offering to pay their relegation rivals an initial £12.5 million with the remainder dependent on appearances.

Despite increasingly attractive terms, Boro chairman Steve Gibson turned down the bid which arrived less than 48 hours after he warned Tottenham counterpart Daniel Levy his interest was 'not welcome'.

Boro manager Gareth Southgate is certain Downing will remain at his hometown club even though the player has been angered by the club's intransigence. 'Stewart won't be leaving and any bids will be turned down,' he said yesterday after Gibson called on Downing to knuckle down.

'The January transfer window is feeding time for the sharks,' Gibson said. 'But we will fight to keep this squad together because we know we have a lot of quality.

'Stewart Downing, and in fact all of our players, should fight to turn this club around. The players owe it to the club and to the fans and they owe it to the manager.

'As far as Stewart is concerned, we understand the background that has led to this transfer request and we believe his head has been turned. We will work hard to try to convince him to stay. I am adamant nobody will be leaving.'

Former Boro striker Bernie Slaven backed Downing's decision to submit a transfer request that was rejected on Monday as he tried to force through a move.

'He's 24, he's ambitious, he wants to play in Europe and he wants to get as many England caps as possible,' Slaven said. 'Can he achieve his goals at Middlesbrough at the moment? For the foreseeable future, there isn't a hope in hell.'

Source: Telegraph