Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson is ready to break the bank in the club’s recent history to land Stewart Downing in time for the new season.
ClaretandHugh has been told this afternoon that an “entirely fantastic offer” is being made to West Ham for a player that Gibson admires as a man and a player above all others.
And one source close to the club said: “On the face of it this seems like madness – nobody knows how they make such an offer – but the thinking is that Gibson wants Stewart at the club in order to tie up his long term future as a coach and future manager.
“Downing is a hero figure to the Riverside fans and after the club failed to make the Premier League via the play-offs, landing him would also help dispel the bitter taste left in the fans’ mouths. But there has to be a long term plan in place based on these figures”
Whilst West Ham have consistently said the player will not be allowed to leave, the latest offer is seeing them rethink their position and with the terms set to be offered to the player the pressure could well come on them from the £6m signing himself.
Were Downing to remain at Upton Park his starting position in the team would be under serious scrutiny with the likes of Chiek Kouyate, Pedro Obiang and Dimitri Payet certain to fill three of the midfield slots with Alex Song employed as the defensive midfielder should terms be agreed with Barcelona.