Where will Stewart Downing transfer to in the summer?

Stewart Dowing

Stewart Downing set for free transfer this summer

Stewart Downing looks set leave Middlesbrough when his contract expires at the end of June.

The 34-year-old has not been offered a new contract by the club and looks likely to walk away from the Riverside along with John Obi Mikel, Dimi Konstantopoulos and Andy Lonergan on a free transfer.

It would mark the second time that the former England international has left his boyhood club. In 2009 he swapped Boro for Aston Villa following relegation and went on to play for Liverpool and West Ham before rejoining the Teeside club in 2015.

There is still a possibility that he could stay, depending on the identity of their new manager. Tony Pulis left recently and some believe that if Jonathan Woodgate is given the job, he may want Downing to stay with him in some capacity.

However as things stand right now he will be leaving, and bookmakers are offering odds on which club will sign him this summer. We have taken a look to see where the bookies are tipping him to go.

Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland favourites to sign Stewart Downing

Bookmakers have made Blackburn Rovers the favourites to sign the winger, with Sky Bet offering odds of 7/4 for him to move to Ewood Park.

The Lancashire club are on the lookout for a new winger, with Craig Conway rejecting a contract extension recently which leaves them short of bodies in that particular position. Manager Tony Mowbray knows Downing well, whilst the player himself has spoken of his admiration for Mowbray in the past too, calling him a "legend" at Middlesbrough.

Rovers' chief executive Steve Waggott has confirmed their interest in the player, saying: "We have a relatively young squad and I think Tony will be looking at some experienced players. Obviously he has known Stewart for a while.

“If he is going to be on the move then hopefully the relationship Tony and Mark Venus have with him, and him knowing them, might put us in a strong position.”

Sunderland are also thought to be keen on signing Downing, as they look to build a side capable of winning promotion in League One. The Black Cats were beaten in this years play-off final and face a second season in the third tier, so Jack Ross would like to bring in some more quality to get them over the line next season.

Downing of course enjoyed a short loan spell at the Stadium of Light back in the 2003/04 season, making seven appearances before his impressive performances saw him recalled by Middlesbrough. A move to Wearside could appeal to him as it would mean that he doesn't have to relocate, but would he want to drop down a level when he is surely more than capable of remaining in the Championship?

As it stands, Sunderland are second favourites to sign the winger with odds of 9/4 available.

Rangers also in the race to sign Downing

It could be that Downing decides to move away from English football, and instead join Steven Gerrard up at Rangers.

The Scottish giants are thought to have expressed an interest in the player a few months ago, and he is keen to at least hold talks over a potential move to Ibrox. He and Gerrard know each other from their time playing together for both Liverpool and England, which could help the Scots get the deal over the line.

With Ryan Kent now back at Liverpool after his loan spell came to an end it means that Rangers do have space for a winger in their squad, and adding a player of Downing's quality would surely help them bridge the gap between themselves and Celtic.

It is certainly another option for him, and Sky Bet are currently offering odds of 3/1 for the former England winger to join Rangers this summer.

Full Stewart Downing next club odds:

(All odds from Sky Bet)

  • Blackburn Rovers - 7/4
  • Sunderland - 9/4
  • Rangers - 3/1
  • Leeds - 14/1
  • Derby - 16/1
  • West Brom - 18/1

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