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Sunderland earn a draw at Villa

Sunderland
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By ESPN Staff

Tottenham deny £12m bid for Boro's Downing

Tottenham have denied claims they have made a £12million bid for Middlesbrough's England winger Stewart Downing.

The Londoners have been consistently linked with a move for the player and following the sale of Michael Carrick to Manchester United for £18.6 million overall, Spurs now have plenty of cash to spend.

But Spurs have opted to make it clear to their fans they have not made any bid for Downing.

A spokesperson for Tottenham said: 'The stories are untrue. We have not made an offer for Stewart Downing.'

Spurs coach Martin Jol is desperate to find a left-sided midfielder to provide more balance to his side but the highly-rated Boro winger is not in his plans.

Tottenham's decision to clarify their position over Downing will be a boost for new Boro boss Gareth Southgate.

Southgate has always been determined to hang on to the Teesside-born winger, who still has four years left on his current contract.

Jol unveiled his three summer signings - Ivory Coast international Didier Zokora, the ready-made replacement for Carrick, £10.8 million Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov and Benoit Assou-Ekotto - at White Hart Lane today.

But Tottenham's cash influx from the sale of Carrick has put them in a difficult position as they seek to add to their squad before the start of the Premiership season on August 19.

The club are determined not to be held to ransom over transfer targets just because they have increased their spending power through the sale of the former West Ham player.

However, while Spurs were quick to deny any interest in Downing, Jol would not be drawn on suggestions they had increased their bid for Wigan defender Pascal Chimbonda.

When quizzed over the issue, Jol responded with a curt: 'I cannot comment on that.'