Report: Trio of La Liga clubs hoping to beat Birmingham to Downing

Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing celebrates after the game

Espanyol, Levante and Malaga or competing with Birmingham to sign Stewart Downing from Middlesbrough.

Stewart Downing could be tempted to play football outside of England for the first time in his career with three La Liga clubs considering a move, reports the Northern Echo.

The midfielder has been told he can leave Middlesbrough this summer by new manager Garry Monk and Birmingham City have emerged as the new favourites for his signature.

Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing celebrates after the gameMiddlesbrough's Stewart Downing celebrates after the game

However, Espanyol, Levante and Malaga are all monitoring the situation and Downing is thought to be tempted by the opportunity to test himself in Spain.

To date the 32-year-old's career has seen him feature for Aston Villa, Liverpool, West Ham United and Boro - as well as a brief loan spell with Sunderland.

Blues boss Harry Redknapp has admitted that he is keen to bring Downing to St Andrew's and the England international is interested in working under the 70-year-old.

"Stewart Downing is a proper player, got a great left foot, he's fit as a fiddle," said Redknapp.

"Whether we could afford him I don't know. Wage-wise I don't know where we would go with it, I haven't got a clue what he earns, and he belongs to Middlesbrough, but I think they've said he can go on a free, so he's of interest."

Downing is expected to have a face-to-face meeting with Redknapp to determine whether Birmingham or the Spanish top tier is the best move for him.

Birmingham City manager Harry RedknappBirmingham City manager Harry Redknapp

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