Liverpool winger Stewart Downing 'would consider return to Middlesbrough' on loan

Downing has managed 14 senior appearances this season

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing would consider a return to first club Middlesbrough to play a part in their promotion push.

Press Association Sport understands Downing, who has had few first-team opportunities under Brendan Rodgers, would not be averse to a loan move back to the Riverside Stadium as he looks for regular football.

Liverpool seem likely to attempt to offload the 28-year-old, who joined the Reds in a £20million switch from Aston Villa in July last year, in January with Rodgers keen to address his lack of strike-power.

There is interest from a series of Barclays Premier League rivals in a permanent move but Downing is understood to still be determined to prove he has a long-term future on Merseyside.

In the circumstances, the player would prefer a temporary move, and his former employers would provide a tempting alternative.

Boro, who currently lie in third place in the npower Championship, were not commenting publicly on the matter today, but sources on Teesside have indicated that nothing is likely to happen ahead of Thursday's emergency loan deadline.

But January would provide an opportunity to resolve a situation which bears a striking resemblance to that in which striker Andy Carroll found himself.

The £35million frontman was surplus to requirements during the summer, but had let it be known he was willing to consider a temporary move back to Newcastle, the club which had raked in a fee since described by manager Alan Pardew as "astronomical" for their home-grown talent.

But he ultimately ended up on a season-long loan deal at West Ham, a move which left Rodgers with Uruguay international Luis Suarez as his only recognised striker.

However, while Newcastle would have been able to fund a sizeable percentage of Carroll's wage packet, Boro would need Liverpool to pick up a large part of the tab for Downing, and that could prove a stumbling block even if they were willing to enter into an agreement.

Downing, who emerged through the ranks on Teesside before winning a £12million transfer to Aston Villa in July 2009, has managed 14 senior appearances this season, although most of his starts have come in Europe.

In addition, he has found himself at times employed at left-back rather than on the wing with teenager Raheem Sterling having taken over his mantle.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice