Sunderland are interested in former England international Stewart Downing but face competition from a host of clubs including Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday and Rangers as reported by the Lancashire Telegraph.
Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray is an admirer of the thirty-four-year-old who has won thirty-five caps for England. He told the paper: ‘If Stewart Downing wants to come to Blackburn Rovers then I think he’s a very talented footballer.’
The former Liverpool, Aston Villa and West Ham winger is a free agent this summer but the paper claims although Rovers are keen, they have yet to make a firm bid.
Downing made forty appearances for the Teesside outfit last season and according to the report Sunderland’s interest as gone as far as making an offer for the veteran.
Downing is understood to be currently weighing up his options.
Middlesbrough remain without a manager since the departure of Tony Pulis last month.
Jonathan Woodgate is set to be named Boro’s new boss, and the report claims if he was to take over, there may be a chance that former team-mate Downing could remain at the Riverside.
Downing has appeared for Sunderland before, making seven appearances in 2003 during a loan spell early in his career.
Downing will be thirty-five by the time the new season kicks off, and many Sunderland fans will be asking why sign a man coming to the end of his career looking for a final contract.
The answer is the quality he will bring to Jack Ross’ squad, but his wages would have to be low enough to make the deal a credible one.
Sunderland are looking to slash the wage bill so you would think their offer would be less than the other clubs mentioned and they will be hoping the player wants to stay in the North East to finish his career if he does leave Middlesborough.
That would be the main reason why I can see this deal getting over the line.