Middlesbrough refuse Portsmouth O'Neil bid

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The Independent Football

Middlesbrough have turned down a bid of £4.5m from Portsmouth for midfielder Gary O'Neil, the south coast club have announced.

The 25-year-old moved to the Riverside from Portsmouth in August 2007 after making almost 200 appearances for the Fratton Park club.

O'Neil, a former England Under-21 captain, has been linked with a return to the south coast and Pompey executive chairman Peter Storrie told the club's official website, www.portsmouthfc.co.uk: "We made what we thought to be a good offer for Gary but unfortunately it was declined and we will not be increasing our bid.

"Gary is a player that (manager) Tony (Adams) and the team know well having been here since he was a youngster.

"He would have been a good addition to the squad."

The offer for O'Neil adds to an already difficult week for the Teeside club who have already fended off attention for England winger Stewart Downing, for whom Tottenham had two bids rejected.