Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has offered Aston Villa hope in their chase of Stewart Downing, as per his quotes in the Daily Star.
Villa are believed to have enquired about Downing’s availability, as Steve Bruce contemplates making an offer for the 32-year-old (Birmingham Mail).
And Karanka confirmed at his press conference that he would be willing to listen to offers for Downing, with Crystal Palace also thought to be interested in the former England international.
“If the club that wants him agrees with our club, then it will not be a problem for me,” he said.
“I have always said that a player who is not happy here can leave.
“I don’t want to think about what scenario is better or worse – Crystal Palace or a Championship team – because at the moment, I don’t know anything on that score.”
Downing is well known to Villa fans as he spent two years at the Midlands club earlier on his career.
Downing scored 11 goals in 79 appearances for the claret and blues, before leaving to join Liverpool in 2011.
Downing helped Middlesbrough earn promotion to the Premier League last season, but he has fallen out of favour this term.
The winger has made 11 Premier League starts for Boro so far, and he is yet to open his goalscoring account for the North East club.