Downing was told that he could leave Liverpool last January before turning his form around, reaching a point where he was one of the most consistent and most important midfielders for the club over the second half of last season.
However, in the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t seem to have changed Brendan Rodgers’ opinion that the winger is not the man he wants across his midfield as he looks to build a great Liverpool side.
For such a relatively small fee Downing is going to be highly sought after because of his Premier League experience and there are several clubs who could try and sign him.
An Aston Villa return is always possible because of his experience and the fee which means his former club wouldn’t have to stretch too much.
Downing’s experience would be vital in a younger side, which clearly struggled at times last season but whether the Villa fans can forgive him for originally moving to Liverpool in the first place could be decisive in any deal.
Cardiff have been very public with their ambitions to improve their squad as a newly promoted Premier League team.
Downing is certainly a player that should interest them because of his Premier League experience. Downing could jump at the move because it’s an exciting new challenge and a chance for him to show just how good he is, at a level beyond what Cardiff currently possess.
Newcastle are one of the early pace setters according to latest reports and his presence would have multiple benefits.
Not only would Downing be a superb squad player, the fact he plays out wide would release Hatem Ben Arfa to play more centrally, where some of his more destructive appearances in a Newcastle shirt have been produced.
Stoke are expected to struggle in the new season, possibly getting dragged into a relegation fight.
They need to push and try to make a few signings before the start of the season and they should definitely throw their hat into the ring for Downing. Considering the majority of Stoke’s play is based around a target man, Downing is the ideal sort of player to ping crosses into the box.
West Ham United
The Hammers have been strongly linked with Downing in the recent past and the fee of £5 million puts him firmly within their price range.
Sam Allardyce seemed to originally focus on Downing as a good line of supply for Andy Carroll and his other attacking players, because at times he is very creative and productive from wider areas.
Where do you think he should go?
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