Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate insists winger Stewart Downing is not for sale.

Southgate is aware of the media reports but won't let the rumours unsettle his players or his pre-season planning.

He told the Evening Gazette: "That can occur if we allow it to happen and I allow it to happen, but we have to accept there will be speculation about our players and, if they're the quality of Stewart and have had the sort of season he has, that's inevitable. Stewart knows exactly what I want to try and achieve here and, as far as we are concerned, he's not for sale.

"I fought long and hard to keep him and get him on a new contract during the course of last season and I think we saw an increased maturity in his performances towards the end."