Middlesbrough have denied they had rejected a third bid from Tottenham for winger Stewart Downing.
Reports had earlier claimed Spurs had upped their offer to a package which would eventually amount to £14.5million, a little short of Boro's £15million valuation of their home-grown talent.
But a Boro spokesman said: "That's not true, we have not had another bid."
The latest developments have left the 24-year-old caught in a crossfire of claim and counter-claim with sources close to the player adamant Spurs have refused to take Boro's unwavering stance as a definitive 'no'.
However, chairman Steve Gibson, chief executive Keith Lamb and manager Gareth Southgate show little sign of softening in their approach to an issue which is refusing to go away.
The reports suggest Tottenham would pay £12.5million for Downing's services and a further £500,000 for every 30 appearances up to a total of £2million.
But Boro have refused to allow the departure of their most successful Academy graduate despite his stated desire to leave his home-town club.
The midfielder handed in a written transfer request on Monday after Spurs had already had one offer rejected as they launched their latest attempt to prise him away from the Riverside Stadium. Middlesbrough's response, as it has always been in the past, was unequivocal.
Lamb said: "We received a written transfer request from Stewart this morning. It was considered before being rejected. Prior to receiving the transfer request, we received an improved offer for Stewart from Tottenham.
"We immediately rejected this offer and informed Tottenham that Stewart Downing is not for sale and any further interest they have in the player will not be entertained."
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