Liverpool to let Downing leave in January

Stewart Downing’s career at Liverpool could be in its final months after the club told the England international he was free to leave when the transfer window opens in January, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Downing has started only once in the league this season, with most of his appearances under Brendan Rodgers restricted to the Europa League – and then often out of position at left-back, rather than his more common left wing role.

The former Aston Villa player was bought by Rodgers’ predecessor Kenny Dalglish for £20m and handed a contract that sees him earn £70,000 per week. Liverpool are said to be willing to take a hefty loss on the transfer fee if it means getting the substantial wage packet off their books. A loan deal is thought to be something Rodgers is open to.

Downing became increasingly marginalised at Anfield after the emergence of Raheem Sterling, who made his England debut in midweek against Sweden. Rodgers has also preferred the likes of Suso to Downing, who has more than 30 England caps to his name and was part of Roy Hodgson’s squad at Euro 2012.

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