Boro dismiss Maccarone rumours

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Gareth Southgate has denied rumours of a rift with Middlesbrough striker Massimo Maccarone.

Reports claim Maccarone stormed out of Boro after learning of his omission from the team to face Tottenham in midweek.

The £8 million club record buy was even said to have been at the airport awaiting a flight home to Italy, but Southgate denied there was any mystery over the player's whereabouts.

"Massimo is here with us," said Southgate. "I had a message to say he had been seen at the airport on Tuesday, but he was here training.

"He wasn't involved at Spurs because I had Mark Viduka back and didn't need two strikers on the bench."

Maccarone has struggled to hold down a starting spot at The Riverside again this season, and Southgate has challenged the player to prove he is worth a new contract.

However, a move in January could become an option for Maccarone with Torino reporteldy ready to renew their interest in the player.

Torino president Urbano Cairo is understood to be considering moving for either Maccarone or forme Milan star Jon Dahl Tomasson - now at Stuttgart.