Boro insistent over Downing
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Middlesbrough have insisted that Stewart Downing will not be allowed to leave.Middlesbrough have insisted that Stewart Downing will not be allowed to leave the club.
Boro rejected an offer from Tottenham last week as the North London side tried to tempt the Teessiders to part with the 20-year-old.
Downing's agent Ian Elliott later revealed to skysports.com that the Middlesbrough-born winger was unhappy with contract talks that had reached an 'impasse'.
Elliott stated that Downing's age was being used against him, but Boro are insisting that they want their most prized asset to stay.
"We do not conduct our contract negotiations in public," said chief executive Keith Lamb.
"We will be sitting down again with Stewart's agent in the near future to discuss the situation.
"But we are ambitious and Stewart is very much part of our future plans and I am sure that he will be a fixture here for many years to come."
Boro boss Steve McClaren reiterated the club's stance.
"You do not want to lose your best players," he said. "That is one of the main things that we say - to go forward, you need to keep your best players.
"Stewart Downing has come through the ranks, had a good season last season, got into the England squad and there is no way we want to let him go."
McClaren also confirmed that Italian international Massimo Maccarone - whose chances will be further limited by the recent arrival of Yakubu Aiyegbeni - was in talks about a loan move back to his homeland.
Maccarone enjoyed a successful stint with Siena, after he struggled during a similar spell with Parma.
"Maccarone - there may be an opportunity for him to go back to Siena, we are discussing that possibility," added McClaren.
"Who knows? It depends what happens over the next few weeks as to how many we have got at the start of the season.
"Strikers win you football matches and although Keith and the chairman will not agree, you cannot have too many on your books!"