It is understood that Middlesbrough have tonight made a bid of around £5 million for former player Stewart Downing.

The winger, 30, has been told he is allowed to leave by current club West Ham and may be tempted by the club in the North East where he began his career.  However Middlesbrough could face competition from Premier League sides with Sunderland having a bid of around £6 million rejected earlier in the summer.

With Middlesbrough losing in the play-off final last season, boss Aitor Karanka may be looking for experience to get the team that little bit further, over the finishing line this time around.  The signing of Stewart Downing could definitely provide this.

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On the surface, this deal looks like a perfect fit but whether Middlesbrough can outbid Premier League Sunderland remains to be seen.