Middlesbrough FC transfer rumours: Ex-Liverpool team-mate wants Stewart Downing plus Jonathan Woodgate "the leading contender" to replace Tony Pulis

SPL giants Rangers have been linked with a move for Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing - who will see his current Boro contract expire at the end of the season.

Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 2:15 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 3:33 pm
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard was team-mates with Stewart Downing at Liverpool.

Downing, who played a key role for Boro in the first half of the campaign, hasn't started a league game since December 29 due to a clause in his contract.

The 34-year-old will gain a one-year extension if he starts another game for the Teessiders, tying him to the club until the end of the 2019/20 season.

And according to Gazette Live, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has been monitoring the situation, and is said to be weighing up a move for the former England international.

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Gerrard and Downing know each other from their time at Liverpool and with the England national team.

When asked about Downing's situation after the defeat at Aston Villa last week, Boro boss Tony Pulis replied:

"That's something I'm not going to get involved in That's something that Stewart and the club have got to sort out."

Another report has suggested Pulis may also depart the Riverside this summer, with Jonathan Woodgate "the leading contender" to replace him.

According to the Sun, Pulis, who is also out of contract at the end of the season, is unlikely to be offered an extension if Boro fail to win promotion.

The report claims Boro owner Steve Gibson could then turn to first-team coach Woodgate, 39, who has worked closely with the club's academy.

Woodgate would also be a cheap option, with Boro's parachute payments, following Premier League relegation in 2017, about to end.