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Sunderland boss Bruce chasing Middlesbrough's Downing

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is keen on Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing.

The Daily Star Sunday says Bruce, expected to be handed a £50m transfer kitty from club benefactor Ellis Short, will be encouraged to test the water on Downing.

Boro chairman Steve Gibson has admitted the club won't stand in the way of Downing if they receive the right offer.

But Gibson has made it clear he won't welcome any further approach from long-time suitors Spurs, who he says unsettled the England international, 24, in January with a £12m bid.

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