Downing demands to leave Middlesbrough

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The Independent Football

Stewart Downing will submit a transfer request to Middlesbrough this morning following a bid of around £6m from Tottenham last week but the 24-year-old winger will have to fight to leave Teesside. Using typically uncompromising language, Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson yesterday stated that Downing will not be moving this month.

"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 said. "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."

Downing (left) is known to be frustrated at the Riverside but he signed a new contract recently and Middlesbrough's chief executive Keith Lamb has also lambasted Spurs.

"Who on earth do they think they are?" Lamb said. "They bleated away when Dimitar Berbatov left for Manchester United in the summer but they sold at top dollar. Then they want to snatch other players for derisory offers and try to unsettle players. That is what has happened here. Their offer is a joke."

Window cleaning Transfer gossip

*Portsmouth's Jermain Defoe can add Italian Serie A giants Juventus to his ever-growing list of potential suitors, as can Newcastle's Michael Owen.

*England midfielder Stewart Downing will hand in a transfer request today after eight years at Middlesbrough.

*Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa have been linked with moves for Matthew Upson and Kenwyne Jones.

*Arsenal may turn their attentions to Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland after seemingly missing out on Everton's Spaniard Mikel Arteta.

*Sunderland's Pascal Chimbonda and El Hadji Diouf may join Big Sam Allardyce's revolution at Blackburn.

*Mark Hughes has added Manchester City's name to the ever-increasing fan club of Leeds midfielder Fabian Delph.

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