Middlesbrough boss Southgate comfortable with Downing speculation

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate insists he's not bothered by the constant transfer speculation swirling around Stewart Downing.

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"Not at all," said Southgate. "We always say within our club that anything that comes from outside can't hurt us.

"We've not even spoken about it and everybody who's here is very settled and everybody's looking forward to the start of the season."

So not a problem then. But, Southgate admits, not a surprise either.

"Stewart was excellent for England in the summer so that's bound to raise his profile," he said.

"We've said all along that he's a fantastic player, we've known his quality. Inevitably he'll be linked, whether it's genuine or mischievous.

"But he's signed a long contract in the middle of last season, he's very very happy here and we want to build a team that encourages him to be here even longer."

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