Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has been told that his future belongs away from Anfield and that he should look for a new club in January.

The Mirror has reported that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers does not see Downing as part of his future plans and has informed the winger that they will look to secure a transfer for him when the window opens in the New Year.

Downing has had a difficult time on Merseyside since completing his £20million move from Aston Villa, struggling to find his best form and failing to score a single Premier League goal in his 16 month spell at the club.

Stewart Downing
Stewart Downing celebrates a rare Liverpool goal with Jonjo Shelvey [Reuters]

Liverpool want to remove Downing from the wage bill as he is one of the higher earners at the club on £70,000-a-week. However, they are unsure whether they will be able to sell him on a permanent deal and could instead allow him to leave on-loan.

Rodgers has already allowed Liverpool's most expensive signing, Andy Carroll, to leave on a season-long loan after deciding that he did not fit the playing style that the Northern Irishman wants to bring to the club.

Downing has struggled to force his way into the first team plans of Rodgers this season, while in a couple of his rare appearances he has been forced to play at left-back.

The 28-year-old did score a superb goal in the Europa League against Anzhi Makhachkala but has started just one league game all season.

The England winger has seen his place in the side go to 17-year-old Raheem Sterling who has also appeared to have overtaken him in the international standings after being handed his debut by Roy Hodgson in the recent friendly defeat to Sweden.

It is clear that Rodgers wants to put his mark on the Liverpool side and is slowly but surely reducing the playing time of the men signed under Kenny Dalglish, with Jose Enrique and Luis Suare the only players featuring regularly under the former Swansea manager.