Middlesbrough chief Lamb: Alves deal convinced Downing

Middlesbrough chief Keith Lamb is convinced the capture of Afonso Alves persuaded Stewart Downing to sign his new contract.

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"I am sure that it reinforced Stewart's belief that the club is ambitious and shows we want to win things," Lamb told Setanta Sports News.

"Alves' signing was a big boost to the club, we beat off a lot of competition from teams in The Premier League and around Europe and Gareth was able to persuade Afonso that Middlesbrough was the place to be."

Commenting on Downing's situation, he added: "Stewart never wanted to leave, he is a local boy and there has been a lot of hype about it, but we always knew Stewart wanted to stay and it was a case of sitting down and getting him to renew a new contract. That we did quietly and behind closed doors.

"He has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal, he is happy and the club are happy."

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