Report: Sunderland edge closer to deal for West Ham’s Stewart Downing

Sunderland, Leicester City, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United have been linked with West Ham United’s Stewart Downing.

According to The Sun, Sunderland are edging closer to sealing a deal for West Ham United winger Stewart Downing despite competition from fellow Premier League clubs.

The 30-year-old winger’s future at the Hammers has been thrown up in the air in recent days following Dimitri Payet’s arrival from French club Marseille.

As per a report in The Chronicle on Friday, the Black Cats were linked with an improved £7 million bid for the former Aston Villa ace after having an initial offer turned down.

And reports in The Telegraph claim the Hammers are keen to sell Downing, attracting the attentions of Leicester City, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United via a separate report in The Daily Star.

Yet, it is Sunderland who appear to be leading the race with boss Dick Advocaat desperate to add some attacking quality to his squad this summer.

“Stewart Downing is edging closer to a move back north. The West Ham winger has served notice on his house in the south and is a target for Sunderland,” the report in The Sun states.

Which club would be the best option for Stewart Downing?

Despite Boro’s intentions, Downing is far too good of a player to drop down to the Championship and a move to a northern Premier League side appears very much on the cards.

Leicester are a solid choice, with the Foxes showing plenty of ambition this summer to build on their momentum towards the end of the previous campaign and establish themselves this season.

Yet the North East duo are arguably the biggest pull, notably Sunderland who appear a little more steady than their neighbours Newcastle and have a team crying out for ball-carrying attacking players.

The Black Cats would arguably see Downing as an essential attacking outlet, a player they would look to feed the ball to as often as possible due to their lack of creativity and ball-carriers in the final third.

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