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Unsettled Downing eyes exit
05 Jan 2009 - 08:12:36
England winger Stewart Downing could be on his way out of Middlesbrough with reports claiming he has asked to leave the Riverside Stadium.
The 24-year-old wideman has already been the subject of one unsuccessful bid from Tottenham Hotspur, but is believed to be on the verge of handing in a written transfer request at his hometown club.
Downing, who signed a new five-year deal in February 2008, is the club's second longest serving player but reports claim he has become unsettled following Boro's slide towards the foot of the Premier League table this season.
The 21-times capped England international made his first-team debut in 2002 and has made over 225 appearances for the Teessiders.
Spurs' initial £6million offer for the left-sided midfielder was dismissed as "derisory" by chief executive Keith Lamb and Boro chairman Steve Gibson has warned the north London club that they intend to fight to keep hold of all of their prize assets during the transfer window.
"I can confirm that we have received an offer from Spurs for Stewart Downing and I can also confirm that we have rejected that offer," Gibson told The Times.
"I've spoken to (Spurs chairman) Daniel Levy and told him categorically that their interest is not welcome.
"I've also told him that we will not entertain any further offers for Stewart or, for that matter, any other senior member of our squad.
"The same applies to Tuncay and it also applies to Gary O'Neil."