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Battle on for Boro keeper

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04 May 2009 10:11:12

Battle on for Boro keeper

Chelsea and Newcastle are both looking to sign Middlesbrough goalkeeper Ross Turnbull, skysports.com understands. The 24-year-old is out-of-contract in the summer and has thus far shunned any attempts to keep him at the club. This is mainly due to the fact Gareth Southgate dropped him earlier this year in favour of Brad Jones and Turnbull has been warming the bench ever since. Turnbull won many plaudits at the start of the season before he was axed and now the interest in his situation is growing. Skysports.com understands that Chelsea and Newcastle are leading the chase, although a number of other clubs - including Scottish champions Celtic - are also hot on his trail. Chelsea are keen to bolster their squad with young English talent and Turnbull fits that bill and would provide excellent back-up to number one Petr Cech - something they are short of since selling Carlo Cudicini in January. Newcastle's interest comes through their respected goalkeeping coach Paul Barron - who spent a number of years at Middlesbrough before moving to St James' Park and he played a major part in Turnbull's early education in the game. Boro boss Gareth Southgate has revealed that Turnbull and team-mate Matthew Bates - also out of contract in the summer - have turned down deals. Like with Turnbull, skysports.com understands a number of clubs are showing an interest in him, including West Ham, Bolton and Everton. "Ross has turned down two or three contract offers and has said he wants to wait until the summer, which is his prerogative, and Matthew's similar," said Southgate. "Matthew's been a difficult one because up until two or three months ago he hadn't played a game after coming back from three cruciates. "Again, Matthew's been made an offer, he's also said he wants to focus on his football for now, which I can understand, and we would like them both to stay. "I think Matthew in particular in recent weeks has shown his value to us. Obviously the club, certainly the top people at the club, looked after Matthew very well during his injuries. "We hope that he'll bear that in mind when he's thinking about what he wants to do. It is still very early for Matthew in terms of his recovery from the injury, but he's proving himself to be a good player for us. "We realise the situation that we're in that young players are going to have more opportunities than they may elsewhere. These are two are slightly different scenarios but Matthew's certainly one where you hope there's a lot of good will with what's gone on and Ross, I'm surprised he hasn't signed anything yet, but that's his decision." Turnbull for his part insists he is fully committed to Boro's battle against relegation and will look at his own situation in the summer. "We've said we're going to wait until the end of the season now," he said. "There's only a month to go, so this is not the time to be talking about contracts or anything like that. "The most important thing is the games that are coming up - everything else can wait until the summer."


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