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Southgate admits Downing may stay at Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate admits crocked midfielder Stewart Downing could end up staying next season.

Downing was expected to join either Liverpool or Tottenham this summer before he suffered a knee injury last week.

Asked if Downing's injury could ironically keep him at the Riverside Stadium, Southgate said: "Possibly, depending on time-scale.

"But if he is here, it probably means he won't be available for the early part of the season anyway, so it is a bit of a double-edged sword.

"I guess we have just got to see how things progress.

"Even after the operation, a player who is highly motivated like Stewart and has a real desire to get back as quickly as possible will always get back quicker than players of a different mentality."

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