Southgate - Wheater happy here
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has reiterated his belief that David Wheater will not be leaving the club.
Last Updated: 27/08/09 6:09pm
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has reiterated his belief that David Wheater will not be leaving the club before the close of the transfer window.
Following relegation from the Premier League last season, Boro have seen several players leave the Riverside, with Robert Huth and Tuncay Sanli the latest to head for the exit door after agreeing to join Stoke City.
Wheater has also been linked with a move back to the top flight, with Aston Villa and Liverpool both reportedly fans of the centre-half.
However, the former England Under 21 international has repeatedly pledged his future to Boro and Southgate does not expect that to change before next Tuesday's deadline.
"David is somebody we have just said is not for sale, and he has made it clear that he has no desire to move at the moment, so I don't foresee there being anything in that," said Southgate.
Southgate is also confident he has sufficient defensive cover for Huth, with skipper Emanuel Pogatetz and Chris Riggott both close to returning from injury.
Southgate said: "If you look at Wheater, Pogatetz and Riggott before I go into our younger group of [Rhys] Williams, [Seb] Hines and [Jonathan] Grounds, who have all got experience at this level, we have got three centre-halves there who would be as good as there is in this division.
"Chris helped Stoke get promotion two years ago when he was on loan, he was outstanding for us last season; Emanuel statistically has been our best defender over the last three years, so in a sense, if there was a position where we always felt we might have to lose somebody, it was centre-back.
"It's a bit more raw because Chris and Emanuel haven't been fit and Robert and David have started the season so well.
"Everybody assumes it will be - and it will be - a blow to us, but the bigger picture is that we have got two outstanding centre-backs to come back in.
"Obviously, we want them back in as soon as we possibly can, but somebody in the meantime is going to get an opportunity to try to grab the shirt, as David did two years ago."