Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has hit out at Stewart Downing's agent amid a wrangle over the England international's future.The 23-year-old winger was heavily tipped to leave the Riverside Stadium during the transfer window having rejected the offer of a new five-year contract worth around £35,000 a week. However, he seems certain to remain with his hometown club with Tottenham having failed to follow up their interest with a formal offer. Downing and agent Ian Elliott met Gibson last week to discuss the situation, and Elliott later issued a statement insisting there would be no resumption in negotiations and that, if he had to, the player would see out the remaining two-and-a-half years of his existing deal before leaving for free. Gibson remains hopeful of persuading the club's Academy graduate to commit himself beyond the terms of his current contract, and has been less than impressed with his representative's handling of the situation. He told The Times: 'Stewart is a smashing lad and we are delighted that he is at our club. 'Not only is he a fine player, he is a fine man as well and he is the kind of person we want here. 'He is midway through a five-year contract and we voluntarily entered contract negotiations with his agent at the start of this season. 'We made a substantial offer which reflects Stewart's status at our club and in our team. 'He (Elliott) has issued a statement which, when you study it, is an absolute contradiction. One one hand, it says Stewart wants to leave and then on the other, it says that Stewart will play out the remaining two-and-a-half years of his contract. Well, what is it to be? 'Stewart will have seven or eight years left at this level and the fact that he appears to have put his career in the hands of Ian Elliott is a source of concern for me because I don't think that's in Stewart's best interests.' Meanwhile, Boro were working to tie up their swoop for Heerenveen's Brazilian striker Afonso Alves ahead of tomorrow night's transfer deadline. The South American, who celebrates his 27th birthday today, was in the crowd at the Riverside for last night's 1-0 Premier League victory over Wigan having started the process of undergoing his medical. His appeal against a decision to reject his application for a work permit is now expected to be heard tomorrow with the Teessiders still to finalise what would be a club-record transfer.