Downing’s departure looks likely with Newcastle showing interest

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Stewart Downing could be heading to Newcastle for £5m, according to reports in Wednesday’s papers.

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - Saturday, July 20, 2013: Liverpool's Stewart Downing in action against an Indonesia XI during a preseason friendly at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The England winger has been subject of interest from West Ham earlier this summer and is now thinking over a move back to the north-east.

The Liverpool Echo write:

Liverpool FC are prepared to off-load Stewart Downing at a massive loss with Newcastle United having been told they can sign him for a cut-price £5million.

The Guardian report:

He was an unused substitute in Steven Gerrard’s testimonial on Saturday and, with two years remaining on his £80,000-a-week contract and Rodgers hoping to increase competition for attacking places before the transfer deadline, Liverpool could be tempted by a permanent offer. Whether Downing feels the same remains to be seen.

Newcastle have just signed Loic Remy on loan from QPR and are reportedly in talks over another striker, Bafétimbi Gomis.

Downing hasn’t featured much so far this pre-season, and with Brendan Rodgers seemingly looking to implement a more structured 4-3-3 formation – as opposed to the 4-2-3-1 adopted in the latter stages of the season when Downing played from the right – the winger’s opportunities would be limited this coming season.

Add in Downing’s age – recently turned 29 – and reportedly high wages and you can see why Liverpool are opting not to keep him merely as a squad member.

Downing is one of the last remaining players signed under the failed Damien Comolli era. The Reds paid Aston Villa £20m two summers ago for the winger.

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