Stewart Downing joins Middlesbrough: Winger could double wages after £5m move to the Championship from West Ham

Downing will double wages if Boro are promoted to the Premier League

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The Independent Football

Stewart Downing has returned to boyhood club Middlesbrough, the Championship club have announced.

Downing returns to Teeside on a four-year deal thought to be worth £35,000-a-week - the figure could double if Aitor Karanka's club return to the Premier League.

The 30-year-old, who played 45 minutes in the England friendly against Scotland in November, has decided to step down to the Championship to return to the club he first joined as a youngster.

"It’s great to be back home," said Downing on the club website. "I always said I wanted to come back to this club and I’m delighted the chance has now come. I didn’t put a time limit on it but now the circumstances are right.

"There was a shout about me coming back here on loan when I was at Liverpool, but for one reason or another it didn’t happen. But now I’m here, and I’m absolutely buzzing.

"This is a good time to be coming back to Boro, and hopefully I can enjoy another four to five years playing at the top.

"This is a Premier League club with a really good team and they were so unlucky to lose out on promotion last season. Nothing went right for them in the Play-Off final against Norwich but over the course of the season I think they deserved to go up."

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has also admitted that the did not want to lose a "quality player".

"I didn’t want him to go, he’s a quality player,’ Bilic said after West Ham's 1-0 Europa League win over Birkirkara. "I would like to keep as many quality players. We know how hard it is to get quality. That’s why I rate him.

"He came to me when we were in Cork and said he would like to go home. He said 'I like you but I want to go home'.

"If it was any other club, I wouldn’t (let him) go. I wasn’t that happy. What is important is he wanted to leave."