Report: Middlesbrough winger Stuart Downing has reservations about joining Sunderland

Sunderland manager Jack Ross during  the Checkatrade Trophy match at Stadium of Light on December 4, 2018 in Sunderland, England.

League One Sunderland are reportedly hoping to sign Stuart Downing from local rivals Boro.

Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing during the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull City and Middlesbrough at KCOM Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Hull, England.

Sunderland’s heartbreaking defeat in the League One play-off final could cost them the chance to sign Stewart Downing from local rivals Middlesbrough, according to the Gazette Live, with the veteran winger reluctant to drop down a division.

Downing turns 35 in July and needs to make a decision about what is likely to be the last big move of his professional career.

The former England international will be a free agent when his Boro contract expires next month and he is hardly short of offers.

 

Steven Gerrard is keen to reunite with his former Liverpool and Three Lions team-mate at Rangers while Blackburn Rovers have also held talks with Downing.

But where do Sunderland stand? Gazette Live claims that the chance to stay in the North East would appeal to the Middlesbrough-born attacker, who would rather not uproot his family at such short notice.

Stewart Downing of Middlesbrough gives the travelling fans two thumbs up at the end of the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Middlesbrough at Ewood Park, Blackburn on...

The report adds, however, that Downing has little interest in playing in the third tier of English football.

Sunderland have been consigned to another season in League One after conceding a 94th minute winner against Charlton Athletic at Wembley last month.

Middlesbrough midfielder Stewart Downing (19) crosses the ball in to the box during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park, Birmingham on...

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