Downing told he can leave ‘Boro by Garry Monk


Former England midfielder Stewart Downing has been told he can leave Middlesbrough on a free transfer this summer by Garry Monk.

New boss Garry Monk has already started to reshape his squad after less than a fortnight in the job, and Press Association Sport understands he does not see a long-term role for Downing, who has two years remaining on his contract.

As a result he has told the 32-year-old, who returned to his home-town club in a £5.5million move from West Ham in July 2015, he can go.

Sources on Teesside have insisted that the impending split is entirely amicable and the midfielder is sure to have admirers, as he did in January when he was linked with a loan move to Crystal Palace.

Downing’s return to the Riverside Stadium was hailed as a coup, but he fell out of favour with former head coach Aitor Karanka as his reign drew to a close.

Aitor Karanka: Vows to fight until the end

Meanwhile, Boro are understood to be ready to offer a contract extension to 38-year-old keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos with Victor Valdes and Brad Guzan having left the club in recent weeks.

Monk has wasted little time in putting his plans for a new Sky Bet Championship promotion push into place and this week installed his backroom staff of James Beattie, David Adams, Darryl Flahavan, Sean Rush and Ryan Needs.