According to The Telegraph, Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing is set to leave the club, after a bizarre clause in his contract means that his wages must be raised.
The contract stipulates that if he plays one for game for Boro, he will have to have his £35k-a-week wage increased, something that Middlesbrough are unwilling to do. He has now been listed, with Boro looking for a new club that can match his demands.
The thing is, it seems very unlikely that any club would be willing to meet the 34-year-old’s wage demands. At his age, and with his deteriorating athleticism, no top level club in the Championship would want to buy him at all. On the other hand, he looks more likely to to be suited to a League One side, or a club at the bottom of the Championship. However, none of these clubs would be willing to meet his wage demands.
But under Tony Pulis, Downing has been used very wisely this season, as the Welshman looks to be the manager to get the best out of Downing. In truth, it suits both Boro and Downing to negotiate a new contract with a wage cut, or same wages, as he could potentially win promotion with his boyhood club. The club are clearly not going to pay him more, and Downing could therefore face very limited football in the twilight of his career. A player of his age would want to play as much as possible, but there is a chance that he would just rot in the reserves if Boro cannot find a suitable club for him. A new deal would suit all parties.
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