The transfer of former England international Stewart Downing to Birmingham has hit a bit of snag, with negotiations stalling over the terms of the deal, according to the Evening Gazette.
Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk reportedly made it clear quite early on in his reign that he felt Downing would be better off moving on, the 32-year-old seemingly surplus to requirements on Teesside.
Harry Redknapp recently told Sky Sports that he’d definitely be interested in a deal with the Boro born midfielder, however did have some reservations over whether a deal could be possible;
“Stewart Downing is a proper player, got a great left foot, he’s fit as a fiddle. 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”.
Despite the expectant lack of transfer fee Birmingham appear keen to persuade Boro to subsidise some of his wages. The sticking point clearly being how much of his salary, if any, they are willing to contribute to.
There’s also the fact that Downing hasn’t engineered any kind of move, therefore would possibly be reluctant to take a cut in his rather lucrative pay packet, making it difficult for his current employers to offload him. With that in mind The Blues may well force Boro’s hand, but much will depend on just how desperate they are to see him leave.
There have been reports of interest from La Liga, yet Downing would be reluctant to move abroad due to his wife expecting a child in the autumn.
Monk hasn’t completely ruled out any involvement for Downing in his squad, with the ex-West Ham player still training with the first team; however it’s hard to see a player in the twilight of his career settling for a place on the bench at best.
However, with him still being in and around the squad they’ll want the situation resolving as soon as possible, that way away any reintegration into first team affairs will be done in good time before the season starts. Alternatively, if a move away is possible, Redknapp will want it done urgently in order to get him settled in at St Andrews and up to speed for the Championship’s big kick off.