Stewart Downing’s relationship with Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka is reportedly “irreparable” after a training-ground bust-up last week.
Downing’s future at the club is believed to be in jeopardy after the pair clashed when the 32-year-old confronted Karanka after being left out of the the squad which lost to Man City in the FA Cup at the weekend.
The winger missed out completely the week before against Stoke – another 2-0 defeat – and the Daily Mail claims the “pair clashed” in the build-up to Saturday’s loss.
After the reverse by City, which could have been by a bigger margin had Brad Guzan not been on top form, Karanka was asked his thoughts on Downing’s omission.
“I need 18 fighters,” said the Boro boss. And in the lead up to the game Downing wanted to know why he was not involved at Stoke with sources claiming Karanka responded by telling the former England international he wanted “players he could trust”.
That has apparently left Downing angry and the report claims Downing questioned whether the players could trust Karanka after he walked out on the club last March, only to return and lead the team to the Premier League.
Ther player’s future on Teesside is under threat and he has started just 13 of 27 Premier League games. Karanka is believed to have been open to selling the former West Ham man in the summer, but chairman Steve Gibson was keen to keep Downing, whom he persuaded to drop down a level to rejoin Boro in July 2015.
The report goes on to claim that Karanka “has never really fancied” the £6million man and it their relationship is now “irreparable”.