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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 23:02 GMT
Southgate wants Downing to stay
Stewart Downing
Southgate is keen for Downing to remain at Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has reiterated his desire for winger Stewart Downing to remain on Teesside.

Tottenham are reportedly interested in signing the 23-year-old, but Southgate insists there have been no bids for the England international.

"We still haven't received a bid for Downing and I hope it doesn't happen before January 31," he said.

"He is a player I think the world of. I want him to be part of our future. I see him as part of our plans."


Meanwhile, Southgate faces complications in his bid to sign Brazilian striker Afonso Alves from Heerenveen.

The 26-year-old reportedly shook hands on a move to the Riverside Stadium after the clubs agreed a fee thought to be in the region of 10m, but there is a dispute over the player's contract.

Fellow Dutch side AZ Alkmaar claim they have signed a contract with Alves, who has scored 38 goals in 38 games in Dutch football, which shows he is joining them.

Alfonso Alves
Alves averages a goal a game in Holland

The matter is currently being investigated by the Dutch Football Association, but Southgate admitted he is keeping options open in case the deal falls through.

"We have known for some time of the situation involving AZ Alkmaar and that it would be problematic," he said.

"We will continue to monitor the situation, but that's why you need to keep your options open and negotiate with different clubs over different targets.

"We have an interest in a few players and we will do whatever we can to strengthen the squad before 1 February."

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