Liverpool are reportedly willing to offload Stewart Downing for around £5m before the end of the transfer window. The Daily Mail claims the winger's future at Anfield is uncertain and Newcastle United have expressed an interest in signing the England international.
The 29-year-old joined Liverpool from Middlesbrough for £20m in the summer of 2011. He has failed to impress at the Merseyside club and the Reds manager Brendan Rodgers even asked Downing to leave the club in January. However, the winger fought back and regained his lost form in the second half of last season.
West Ham United were also interested in adding Downing to their squad, but the offer was turned down by the player. He admitted that Rodgers had given him assurances as the former Swansea manager was happy with him to continue at the club.
"It's not something I am going to consider. I think there have been a couple of rumours going around and maybe that's because I was told last season I could leave. But I have spoken to the manager and he's told me that he's happy for me to stay," Downing explained.
"As far as I see it I'm here to play. He wants to build a squad and not dismantle it. I'm not in the team and not playing that is a discussion we will have to have then but at the minute I have absolutely no reason to leave," he added.
Liverpool have already let Andy Carroll off their wage bill after the England striker joined West Ham on a permanent deal. Downing has two years left on his contract at Anfield. Rodgers is now looking to let another highly paid player leave the club as the Reds target to offload the winger before the end of the transfer window.
Newcastle's director of football Joe Kinnear is keen on bringing the former Middlesbrough player to St James' Park. However, Downing may have to take a considerable pay cut if he decides to make a switch to the Tyneside club.
Downing made 29 appearances in the league last season, scoring three times and managing five assists in the process.