Date: 17th December 2012 at 1:34pm
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Former Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing could have moved closer to a possible return to the Riverside after being told he can leave Liverpool.

The England international is currently surplus to requirements at Anfield and appears certain to depart the club in January.

Boro had already been weighing up a possible loan approach until the end of the season if he was unable to secure a permanent move away.

Downing, 28, originally cost the Merseysiders £19m when arriving from Aston Villa eighteen months ago. Both Everton and Sunderland are amongst those clubs likely to be interested in his services.

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