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Two Clubs Preparing Summer Swoop For Out Of Contract Middlesbrough Star

Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing is interesting both Rangers and Sunderland, according to reports in the local media.

The 34-year-old will trigger an automatic contract extension if he starts one more league game this season, and with the player on sizeable wages, manager Tony Pulis has been asked to keep him on the bench.

Downing would like to stay in the North East to be near his family, which means a switch to Sunderland would be the most likely option.

However, the Black Cats are unlikely to make a move unless they earn promotion from League One. The Wearside club are currently fourth, five points off the automatic promotion places, but they do have two games in hand.

The main alternative for Downing would be Rangers who are managed by former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard. There are also other teams said to be keen, with clubs in the United States also believed to be looking at the former England international.