Liverpool winger Downing interested in ‘Boro return

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing is reportedly interested in a return to former club Middlesbrough on loan until the end of the season, The Telegraph reports.

Downing has seen his first-team opportunities limited at Anfield since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers this summer and would not be averse to a switch to the Riverside Stadium. The 28 year old moved to Merseyside in a £20m switch from Aston Villa in July 2011, but has failed to settle and Liverpool are keen to offload him to make way for younger talent. Downing is eager to prove himself at Anfield and will settle for a temporary switch this season to gain regular first-team football.

Middlesbrough lie third in the Championship and would use Downing as a vital player in their push for promotion to the Premier League. Sources on Teesside have indicated nothing is likely to happen before Thursday’s emergency loan deadline, but a January deal is in the offing. Downing has managed just 14 senior appearances for Liverpool so far, the majority coming from the bench and in the Europa League.

Premier League sides Everton and Sunderland are interested in the England international, but Liverpool are keen to avoid moving Downing to a rival and see Middlesbrough as the ideal solution. A major stumbling block for Tony Mowbray’s side would be Downing’s wages with Liverpool having to fork out most of the pay packet if a move is to be completed.

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