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Gareth Southgate’s Boro, who are now second from bottom in the Premier League, face another tough encounter at Man City this Saturday lunchtime.

Aston Villa have denied newspaper reports that they will lodge a formal complaint over Arsenal’s deadline day deal to sign Russia international Andrei Arshavin.

It has been claimed that the club were unhappy with the deal being approved 24 hours after the transfer window closed.

However, Villa manager Martin O’Neill said: “I would have nothing to say at this minute because Paul Faulkner (Villa’s chief operating officer) has told me there is a Premier League meeting on Thursday and I think some points are being raised – although not necessarily by us as Aston Villa.

“I think there is going to be clarification about the transfer window extension. Absolutely. Am I concerned by it? Listen, I’m not.”

Villa defender Curtis Davies also played down the significance of the timing of the Arshavin deal. He said: “The Premier League would not have allowed the Arsenal deal to happen if it wasn’t all above board.

“It is a matter of hours. It is not like he signed two months down the line.”

Gareth Southgate’s Boro, who are now second from bottom in the Premier League, face another tough encounter at Man City this Saturday lunchtime.

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