Transfer news: West Ham could return for Liverpool winger Stewart Downing after he was told he can leave Anfield

Downing joined Reds two years ago for £20m but could now be available for as little as £5m

West Ham could offer Stewart Downing a way out of Anfield despite the winger’s insistence that he wants to stay with Liverpool.

The Reds bought Downing from Aston Villa for £20m in 2011, but he has failed to make an impact on Merseyside and he has been told by the club that he can leave for a fee in the region of £5m – a hefty £15m loss.

Liverpool have already seen a £20m loss on striker Andy Carroll, who having joined from Newcastle for a British record of £35m, joined the Hammers for less than half that fee at £15m.

Manager Sam Allardyce is said to be looking at the potential deal, although the 29-year-old’s £80,000-a-week wages could be a stumbling block. One option could be for Liverpool to pay a contribution towards the deal in order to get Downing off their wage bill.

Allardyce was also keen on signing Werder Bremen winger Marko Arnautovic but it seems that move has stalled earlier this week, while he is also considering Porto’s Silvestre Varela and former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou, who is currently in France with Ligue 1 club Lille.

St Etienne are hopeful on signing Hammers striker Modibo Maiga after talks broke down with former West Ham striker Carlton Cole, who has been training with Tottenham this week. A deal for Maiga would leave the east London club with just Carroll and Ricardo Vaz Te available up front.

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