Downing set for move to Newcastle after pre-season absences

Over the last few years, Stewart Downing has been a player whose form has had its ups and downs ever since making the switch to Liverpool two seasons ago from Aston Villa.

After 2 years at Anfield, it seems that the England midfielder could be set for a change of scenery with Newcastle ready to sign the unsettled midflielder in the next few days.

It’s thought that the left winger is wanting to leave after finding out about Liverpool wanting to sell him on to other clubs with the club ready to sell him for as little as £5million.

After The Reds revealed their intentions, Downing is thought to be keen for a return to the North East and has allowed his representatives to talk directly with The Magpies over a possible move to St James Park.

Downing’s place in the Liverpool squad has been under threat over the summer thanks to the emergence of younger players such as Raheem Sterling and Phillipe Coutinho as well as the signing of promising Spanish midfielder Iago Aspas.

Alongside that, the left midfielder was left out of the last two friendly squads against Thailand and Olympiacos with his last match having been in the friendly against Melbourne Victory a fortnight ago.

There has already been some interest in Downing this summer with West Ham making a bid for the player which was rejected by Liverpool officials.

The change in mood at Anfield is one which is far from what Downing received two years ago when he arrived from Villa for £20m in 2011.
Since then, Downing has made 65 appearances for The Reds scoring 3 goals which all came during his second season at the club.

It’s thought that the midfielder would have been set for another season with Liverpool having recently stating that he was happy with his place in the team. This was highlighted in comments made to the Liverpool Daily Echo where he revealed:”The first year at Liverpool was difficult but once I established myself in the team last season I really enjoyed it

If Newcastle were to pull off the deal, it would be another piece in their reformed attacking lineup which has already been boosted by the signing of Loic Remy on loan from QPR.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew sees Downing as the ideal playmaker to help support the revitalised strikeforce at Newcastle.

For the moment, Downing is joining other Liverpool members to take on Valerenga in a pre-season friendly but this could be the last time that we see the England midfielder where the famous red strip should things develop with Newcastle over the coming days.

Andrew Roach is writer and editor of A keen Arsenal fan who is always on the pulse of all things at the Emirates!