Middlesbrough will offer Stewart Downing the chance of loan return to the Riverside
Sky Sports understands Middlesbrough are ready to offer Stewart Downing a return to his hometown club.
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey
Last Updated: 20/11/12 1:28pm
Boro have been monitoring Downing's situation for the past few weeks after it become apparent he was not going to be a first-choice starter under Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool look ready to sanction a loan switch, which has alerted Boro to the possibility of striking a deal for the 28-year-old.
A number of Premier League sides are also known to be keen on taking Downing from January but, as Boro are not in the top-flight, they are in a position where they could possibly strike a deal before Thursday's loan deadline.
Boro's initial thought was to wait until January but, with injuries impacting on their squad in recent weeks, they are now ready to make a move, although it appears they face an uphill battle to try and do it before Thursday.
The club's hierarchy are understood to have given the green light to a move for Downing, who is on considerable wages at Liverpool and a portion of them would need to be covered by any club taking him.
But, as with his good friend Jonathan Woodgate who returned in the summer, Boro hope the lure of moving back to the Riverside and possibly helping them into the Premier League could be enough of an incentive to persuade him to drop down to the Championship for six months.
Downing left Boro in 2009 after making over 200 appearances for the club to join Aston Villa, before moving to Liverpool last year.