Newcastle linked with Liverpool flop – but do they need him?

The Toon are thought to be weighing up a £5 million bid for Stewart Downing, who is available for transfer this summer.

Stewart Downing will be allowed to leave Liverpool for £5 million this summer according to reports in the British press, with Newcastle thought to be weighing up a move to bring him back to the North East.

The England international signed for the Reds two seasons ago for £20 million, and had a fruitless first campaign at the Merseyside club. After initially not being in Brendan Rodgers’ plans last term, the former Aston Villa man forced his way into the team and his form improved after the turn of the year.

Fresh concerns over Downing’s future have arose, with the Reds having an active transfer window and looking to freshen their squad up. With the summer signings of Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto to add to the likes of Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho, Downing faces a battle to command a first-team place this season.

The player turned down a move to West Ham earlier in the transfer window, and is vowing to stay and fight for his place at Liverpool. However, he has conceded that a lack of action may well force his hand.

"It (leaving) is not something I am going to consider. He (Rodgers) is happy for me to stay.

“If I'm not in the team and not playing that is a discussion we will have to have then but at the minute I have absolutely no reason to leave."

With Downing earning a reported £80,000-a-week at Anfield and two years left on his current deal, it is understandable that Liverpool would be willing to let the player leave. Whether he is the right type of player that Newcastle should be targeting is another matter.

The fact that Downing is a product of the Middlesbrough youth system will not be overlooked lightly by the St James’ Park faithful. That said, a move back to the area in which he grew up may see Downing more settled and able to perform consistently.

Although Newcastle are currently trying to bolster their striking options, a move for Downing once this has been completed does not make a huge amount of sense. With the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez, Sylvain Marveaux and Yoan Gouffran in the Magpies’ squad already, whether Downing would bring anything different to the table is questionable.

Should Downing move to Newcastle he would also have to win over the fans and win a place in a competitive first-team. Initially the move does not seem to really benefit any party apart from Liverpool.

image: © dannymol

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