Spurs deny fresh Downing bid
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Tottenham Hotspur have insisted no new offer has been made to Middlesbrough for Stewart Downing.
The England international has been a long-term target for Spurs - who have tested Boro's resolve on a number of occasions over the last few seasons.
Following Spurs' failure to capture Damien Duff - who opted for a move to Newcastle United instead, it was reported that a fresh bid for Downing had been made.
However, the North London club have been quick to deny that any such move has been made.
"The stories are untrue. We have not made an offer for Stewart Downing," said a Tottenham spokesman.
Spurs coach Martin Jol, who would not talk about Downing, insisted that Duff's decision to reject Spurs was a blow.
"With Duff, it was over in five minutes because Damien Duff wanted to go to Newcastle," he told Sky Sports News.
"I like him, he's a very nice lad and a very good player and that is exactly the kind of player a good club wants.
"But he made his mind up and he wanted to go to Newcastle, so good luck to him."
Jol also refused to be drawn on whether he had indeed made a renewed bid for Wigan's Pascal Chimbonda - with some sources claiming Andy Reid and Danny Murphy had been offered in part-exchange.
"I cannot comment on that," is all Jol would say.
Jol has high hopes for a number of his current squad this season - including Tom Huddlestone, who he thinks has huge potential.
"Tom is a very good player on the ball, but we have to develop him. I think he is one of the passers in England already," he said.
"But we have to do things to make him a real top player."
Jol is also looking to make sure Tottenham - who will play in the Uefa Cup next season - do not suffer a European hangover.
"We want to challenge for Europe, as four, five or six other clubs did in England last year," he said.
"You always worry [about a hangover] because Middlesbrough had the same like Everton had.
"Middlesbrough, for example, had a lot of games with a lot of younger players. They did unbelievable in the Uefa Cup, but they struggled in the league.
"It is not what you want, but that is the reality in The Premiership.
"It can happen to us as well, but I think that we will be strong. We have new signings.
"Hopefully, it won't happen to us."