Crystal Palace hoping Downing resolves Middlesbrough quarrel
Crystal Palace are waiting to hear if Stewart Downing can win out over a disagreement with Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka.
It’s been reported in the north east that while Karanka has said Downing is allowed to go out on loan for the rest of the campaign, the deal is only valid if the winger heads to a Championship outfit.
But at 32, Downing still feels capable of doing a job in the top-flight, and Eagles boss Sam Allardyce is waiting to snap up the former Liverpool midfielder.
Downing has made 17 Premier League appearances for the Teessiders this term, but has seen his first-team opportunities diminish in recent months.
After playing every minute of Boro’s first eight fixtures, Downing hasn’t played a full 90 in the last 10.
And now seeking first-team football, the club have agreed to let the winger go out on loan.
Allardyce is busy trying to bring in new faces before Janaury’s transfer window slams shut, and has been linked with a number of players in recent weeks.
Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson and Sunderland’s Patrick van Aanholt have been repeatedly linked with a move to Selhurst Park.
But as Allardyce looks to shore up his defence, he must also contend with the absence of Wilfried Zaha.
The winger has been playing arguably his best football this season, but is currently away at the Africa Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast.
That absence, plus any concerns over an injury or fatigue to Zaha while on duty or upon his return, goes a long way to explaining Palace’s eagerness to bring Downing in.
The Eagles are back in Premier League action this weekend, with Allardyce taking his men to former employers West Ham.
But odds from the bookies of 21/10 make the Eagles outsiders for victory at the London Stadium on Saturday.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing