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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Aug 26, 2006

Spurs bid for Downing, but Boro want Lennon

Middlesbrough have announced their interest in signing Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon.

Boro revealed their interest after Spurs boss Martin Jol claimed the north London club had made a 'final offer' of £10million for winger Stewart Downing, a sum disputed by the north east club who instead describe Spurs' offer as 'derisory'.

The Teesside club have made it clear they are not interested in selling Downing and instead have told Spurs they want to sign his fellow England international Lennon.

Boro insist they intend to hang on to Downing and would look to reinforce their right-hand side of midfield, a role occupied by Lennon.

Spurs boss Martin Jol revealed a bid had been made for the winger following the 2-0 home defeat by Everton prompting a furious Boro chief executive Keith Lamb to issue a statement.

Lamb told the club's official website: '(Chairman) Steve Gibson and I are appalled at the way Tottenham conduct their business.

'We are shocked and disappointed that they should talk publicly about their interest in one of our players.

'They have not made a £10million offer for Stewart - and would be wasting their time if they did.

'In actual fact, they made a derisory offer.

'I won't even be responding to the bid because they knew in advance that it would be unacceptable.

'We can only consider that it was a mischievous attempt to unsettle Stewart and cause a problem between the player and his hometown club.

'If that is the case it won't succeed - and we won't be giving their offer even the courtesy of a rejection.

'We would be more interested in buying Aaron Lennon from Spurs than selling Stewart because we remain extremely ambitious to take this club forward.

'In fact, during the course of our talks with Spurs, we have already expressed our interest in signing Lennon.'

Tottenham coach Martin Jol declared his interest in Downing. 'We made a very good bid for him. Our highest bid to be honest,' he said.

'I have to talk with the chairman later on about it. Today you could see against 10 men you have to stretch them. But we could not do that.

'He is the number one player we want. We want the best and for us he is the best player.'

Tottenham's move for Downing was perfectly timed after they lost 2-0 to a determined Everton side reduced to 10 men after half an hour.