Crystal Palace in Stewart Downing talks

Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing scores their second goal

HITC Sport understands the Middlesbrough midfielder is close to a move, which could see the arrival of a Stoke City star.

Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough are in talks over Stewart Downing, HITC Sport understands.

Downing has been looking at a temporary move away from his hometown club, after seeing his first-team chances limited under Aitor Karanka.

Boro owner Steve Gibson is understood to be less than keen to sell the England international, but on a temporary basis Downing looks set to leave Boro again.

Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing scores their second goalMiddlesbrough's Stewart Downing scores their second goal

Palace boss Sam Allardyce knows the 32-year-old well from his time at West Ham United, and Downing's form under Big Sam saw him earn a recall to the international set-up.

Now Downing is gearing up for a move back to London, as HITC Sport understands the two clubs talk terms of the deal.

Stoke City's Bojan Krkic celebrates scoring their first goalStoke City's Bojan

Middlesbrough will use the money they will save on Downing to help finance deals of their own with Stoke City's wantaway forward Bojan in their sights.

Boro are lining up a deal for Patrick Bamford with Chelsea, but Bojan has become a priority for Karanka - who believes the former Barcelona man can add something to his attacking options.

Mark Hughes has been far from happy with Bojan's recent form and he has struggled for a first-team place.

HITC Sport understands the two clubs are in talks, but they are yet to agree on whether a deal would be a loan switch or permanent.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor KarankaMiddlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka

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