Stewart Downing yet to hold talks with Aitor Karanka amidst exit rumours

Stewart Downing yet to hold talks with Aitor Karanka amidst exit rumours

The winger has not submitted a transfer request despite rumours linking him to Crystal Palace

Sam France

Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing is yet to hold talks with manager Aitor Karanka despite rumours linking him with a move away from the club and is yet to submit a formal transfer request, according to the Evening Gazette.

Downing is reported to be frustrated at his lack of opportunities in the first team at the Riverside Stadium, and he had been thought to have offers on the table from the Premier LeagueChampionship, America and China.

He was thought to be close to a move to Boro's Premier League rivals Crystal Palace, but that move could have been scuppered by their purchase of left winger Jeffrey Schlupp.

Downing could start against Watford

However, Karanka insists that Downing hasn't come to him asking for a move, meaning he will travel with the squad for their trip to Watford this weekend.

With Gaston Ramirez out of action and Adama Traore having struggled on the left against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup, Downing could be battling with returning Dane Viktor Fischer for his regular space on the left of midfield.

“He never came to me to say anything," Karanka told the Gazette. "Ask him, I can’t say anything.

“You are asking me a lot of things that I don’t know. The only thing that I know is he is training with the team, his attitude is always the same, he’s in the squad tomorrow and he could play on Saturday.”

Busy window ahead for Middlesbrough

However, Karanka has made it clear in recent weeks that if a player wants to leave the club this January transfer window, he will help to make sure that all parties are satisfied and won't stand in their way.

Downing is not the only Boro attacker thought to be in this category, with Jordan Rhodes thought to be angling for the exit door and David Nugent having already left for a return to the second tier with Derby County.

It is likely to be a busy transfer window on Teesside, with Karanka in the market for improvements on his faltering front line. Bojan KrkicGerard Deulofeu and Jese Rodriguez are thought to be at the top of his wishlist, with Robert Snodgrass also being monitored.