Middlesbrough issue Downing warning
Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb today told Tottenham to once and for all forget about signing Stewart Downing this month.
Reacting to speculation Boro had rejected a third bid for the 24-year-old amounting to £14.5million, Lamb said: "We again reiterate that no senior players will be leaving this football club during January. That is the end of the matter.
"Any ongoing media speculation is therefore meaningless and we will not continue to respond to it."
Lamb's statement came after the club had denied a further offer from Spurs had been received, although sources close to Downing were insisting the Londoners were refusing to give up on the England international.
Boro have become used to having to fend off approaches from White Hart Lane for the winger, who has caught the eye of successive Tottenham managers.
They have become increasingly exasperated - and indeed, determined not to do business - as the saga has worn on.
However, Downing's own desperation for the move to go through just 11 months after he signed a new five-year deal has left them in a difficult position.
That said, their stance has simply hardened in the wake of two bids they have acknowledged and speculation over a third, with reports claiming the Teessiders would receive £12.5m up front followed by further payments of £500,0000 up to a total of £2million each time the player completes 30 appearances.
Having seen his club turn down an initial offer amounting to around £8m, Downing handed in a written transfer request on Monday, which was rejected.
Lamb later revealed that Boro had also rebuffed an improved offer, thought to involve a package of up to £13m.
He said at the time: "We received a written transfer request from Stewart this morning. It was considered before being rejected.
"Prior to receiving the transfer request, we received an improved offer for Stewart from Tottenham.
"We immediately rejected this offer and informed Tottenham that Stewart Downing is not for sale and any further interest they have in the player will not be entertained."
Lamb's latest statement seeks to draw a line under the whole episode, although whether or not Spurs finally accept the race is run remains to be seen.
Should that prove to be the case, Boro would face the prospect of attempting to restore relations with Downing, whose father - also Stewart - revealed earlier this week that he had asked to leave because he believed the club did not share his ambition.
Latest in Sport
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
WrestleMania 31: The Undertaker begins a new streak after tombstoning Bray Wyatt
Louis van Gaal: Manchester United boss reveals that being a 'slow player' made him a better manager on warts and all documentary
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Muhammad Ali is behind Pacquiao 'all the way', reveals his daughter Rashida
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans