Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

STEELE RESOLVE; 'Jason Not for Sale' Say Boro as Keeper Focuses on His First Team Place: Steele 'Not for Sale'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

STEELE RESOLVE; 'Jason Not for Sale' Say Boro as Keeper Focuses on His First Team Place: Steele 'Not for Sale'

Article excerpt

Byline: PHILIP TALLENTIRE

BORO may have slapped a "not for sale" notice on Jason Steele, but the young keeper's own priority is simply to stay in the team.

Media speculation has mounted over the past 48 hours that at least one Premier League club is preparing to bid pounds 4m for the England Under-21 goalie in January.

But Boro have moved to rubbish those reports, insisting Steele is the future of the club and won't be sold.

Chief executive Keith Lamb said: "The story is complete nonsense. We have no intention of selling Jason for pounds 4m or any other fee.

"He is a massive part of the future of this football club, so the idea of selling him is not on our agenda."

Boss Tony Mowbray added: "I think it's vitally important that we don't sell our assets, of which Jason is certainly one."

Steele was Boro's third choice keeper at the end of last season but enjoyed a rapid promotion to the bench when Brad Jones was linked with a move to Liverpool.

Then, after the first game of the season, he replaced Danny Coyne between the sticks and has been the club's first choice keeper since.

Steele said: "Just to be playing every week is massive and I feel I'm getting better every time I play, that's all I want to do, keep getting better.

"I've still got to keep improving to stay in the team."

The 20-year-old from Newton Aycliffe gained vital first team experience while on loan at League Two Northampton Town last season.

He says the move helped him cope when he was thrust into the Boro starting XI by Gordon Strachan.

"I think going on loan last year helped me massively because you get a taste of what it's all about," he said. "There's people playing down the lower leagues who are playing for their families, for their livelihoods. …

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