Southgate vows to keep duo
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gareth Southgate has vowed to keep Mark Viduka and Stewart Downing at Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has vowed to keep Mark Viduka and Stewart Downing at the club.
The duo have been linked with possible moves away from the Riverside during this month's transfer window.
Tottenham have held a long-term interest in Downing, while West Ham are thought to be chasing Australian striker Viduka.
Southgate believes Downing is happy at Middlesbrough and feels the England international can fulfil his ambitions on Teesside.
"When there was talk about it in the summer, Stewart said to me he was more than happy where he is, enjoying his football," said Southgate.
"He is ambitious, but he wants to achieve those ambitions with us.
"I have terrific ambitions for the club which are matched by the chairman and we want to move forward together."
Viduka's contract expires in the summer and although Southgate admits he has had offers for the former Leeds and Celtic hit-man he wants to keep him beyond this season.
"We have had enquiries and tentative verbal offers, but there has never been anything concrete and we have not welcomed the approaches," added Southgate.
"Mark is an enormous player for us and I want him to be here not just at the end of this season but beyond that. He is a class act."
Meanwhile, Boro are thought to be closing in on the signing of West Brom ace Zoltan Gera.
Gera has been strongly linked with a move to the Riverside and reports emanating from Hungary suggest a deal could be completed as early as next week.
Middlesbrough are thought to be ready to pay £2million plus Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones in a bid to land Gera.