Former Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers midfielder Stewart Downing says he’s in no rush to get into coaching, and has angled towards a post-playing career in punditry.

Downing, 37, announced his retirement from football over the summer.

The former Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Liverpool, West Ham and Blackburn Rovers man racked up 722 career appearances and was capped 35 times by England.

He’s best know for his stints with Middlesbrough – over two separate spells at the club he managed more than 400 appearances, winning the League Cup in 2004, reaching the final of the UEFA Cup in 2006 and then winning promotion from the Championship in 2016.

Downing would finish his career at Blackburn Rovers in the Championship. He featured 62 times across two seasons at the club before retiring ahead of this campaign.

But speaking on talkSPORT this morning, Downing has revealed his coaching and media plans post-retirement:

“I’m on my A-license at the minute but I’ve actually quite enjoyed the media stuff I’ve done in the last few months, doing bits for Sky, I did LiverpoolTV the other day at the game… I’m quite open to anything at the minute, I’m quite laid back about it. It’s not set in stone that I’m going to do this or I’m going to do that, I’ll just see what comes.”

Downing enjoyed a 20-year playing career, playing up at the highest levels and for some of the most prestigious clubs in England.

He’s certainly someone who knows the game and once he completes his UEFA coaching licenses, he’ll become an attractive coach.

Given his ties to the likes of Boro and Blackburn he could easily find himself in the coaching staff at either club later down the line – whether he’d prefer coaching or management remains to be seen.

But a likeable player nevertheless, and Boro fans in particular would love to see Downing in a dugout one day.