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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 August 2006, 21:38 GMT 22:38 UK
Boro fight back in Downing battle
Stewart Downing
Downing looks like being a regular for England under Steve McClaren
Middlesbrough have reacted angrily to Tottenham's latest attempts to sign Stewart Downing and have hit back by expressing an interest in Aaron Lennon.

Spurs said on Saturday they had made a new bid to sign Downing, with reports suggesting they had offered 10m.

But Boro chief Keith Lamb said he was "appalled" with Tottenham's antics and described their offer as "derisory".

"They have not made a 10m bid for Stewart and would be wasting their time if they did," added a furious Lamb.

Spurs have long been linked with England international Downing, 22, and had a 6m bid by Boro rejected in the summer of 2005.

"We made a very good bid for him. Our highest bid to be honest," said Spurs manager Martin Jol after his side's 2-0 loss to Everton at White Hart Lane.

We can only consider that it was a mischievous attempt to unsettle Stewart and cause a problem between the player and his hometown club

Keith Lamb

"He is the number one player we want. We want the best and for us he is the best player."

But Lamb told Boro's official website: "(Chairman) Steve Gibson and I are appalled at the way Tottenham conduct their business.

"We are shocked and disappointed that they should talk publicly about their interest in one of our players.

"They have not made a 10m offer for Stewart - and would be wasting their time if they did.

"In actual fact, they made a derisory offer.

"I won't even be responding to the bid because they knew in advance that it would be unacceptable.

Boro now say they want to sign Aaron Lennon from Spurs
Boro now say they want to sign Aaron Lennon from Spurs
"We can only consider that it was a mischievous attempt to unsettle Stewart and cause a problem between the player and his hometown club.

"If that is the case it won't succeed - and we won't be giving their offer even the courtesy of a rejection.

"We would be more interested in buying Aaron Lennon from Spurs than selling Stewart because we remain extremely ambitious to take this club forward.

"In fact, during the course of our talks with Spurs, we have already expressed our interest in signing Lennon."

Downing has made an impressive start to the season.

He scored in last weekend's 3-2 defeat by Premiership newcomers Reading and played in England's 4-0 friendly win over Greece under new coach Steve McClaren.



SEE ALSO
Boro warn Spurs off Downing bid
25 May 06 |  Middlesbrough


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