Liverpool FC winger Stuart Downing close to completing his move to West Ham, Zoltan Gera to be offered another contract by West Brom, while Newcastle United pull out of Bafetimbi Gomis deal.
Liverpool Winger Close To West Ham Switch
Stuart Downing, who started his career at Middlesbrough, had a difficult start to his Liverpool career since his big money move from Aston Villa back in 2011. His inconsistency has drawn criticism from fans and experts alike and his future at Anfield remains in doubt. But the second half of last season saw him put in some good performances and provided hope that he could still be a part of Brendan Rodgers’ future plans at Liverpool. The 29-year-old has recently revealed his wish to remain at Liverpool after working hard to establish himself in the first team last season.
“I feel settled now. The first year at Liverpool was difficult but once I established myself in the team last season I really enjoyed it.
“That’s why I don’t want to leave. If you are playing with good players in a good team then you don’t want to lose that.” – The Liverpool winger said recently.
But it seems Downing has fallen further down the pecking order, behind the likes of Coutinho, Sterling and new summer recruit Iago Aspas. Although Downing did play a part in the opening three matches of Liverpool’s preseason campaign, he was an unused substitute in the last two games.
Recent reports suggest that West Ham United are closing to completing their move for Stuart Downing, with the Liverpool winger expected to undergo his medical soon. Newcastle United were also contemplating a move for the Englishman, but West Ham United’s opening bid of £5million was accepted by the Merseyside club. Although Liverpool will suffer a massive loss on this transfer, Downing’s departure will helping in balancing the wage bill following the host of new arrivals this summer.
If and when this deal is completed, Stuart Downing will team up with his former Liverpool teammate Andy Carroll, who completed his move earlier this summer. West Ham United punched above their weight and finished 10th last season. Now with some key signings Sam Allardyce’s men could possibly go one better this time around.
Zoltan Gera to be handed over a new one-year contract by West Brom
Zolton Gera, whose contract with West Brom expired earlier this summer, is set to be handed over a new deal by Steve Clarke.
West Brom were reluctant to offer Gera a new contract last season and his contract finally expired in the summer. The 34-year-old has made only 14 appearances in the league last season as he suffered a knee injury in January, which kept him out for the rest of the season. Gera, who is still recovering from that injury, was allowed to train with West Brom during the pre-season, despite being a free agent, officially.
It seems that Steve Clarke is impressed with Gera’s recovery and improvement, and the West Brom manager is ready to offer him a new one-year contract. If and when Gera is signed once again by West Brom, this will officially be his third stint at the club, having had a successful four year stint in the club from 2004-2008. Considering his fitness concerns off late, this could also be his last season in professional football.
Newcastle United pulls out of the Bafetimbi Gomis deal
The Magpies were short in number upfront this summer, and with growing speculations regarding the future of Papiss Cisse, Newcastle United were in desperate need of strikers. They have already signed QPR forward Loic Remy on loan and were also linked with Aston Villa striker Darren Bent and Bafetimbi Gomis. While their interest in Bent seemed to have faded away with time, the English club were in negotiations with Lyon regarding the sale of Gomis.
But Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas has now revealed that currently there are no offers for the 28-year-old striker, who has been prolific in the last two seasons – which indicates Newcastle have pulled the plug on this deal failing to reach an agreement with the French club.
“We have to be humble, I’m ready to make myself available to discuss the situation with Bafetimbi. I think we both need to swallow our pride, myself being the first.
“But there are no offers currently on the table.
“Bafetimbi needs to play football. I believe it would be a mistake to stay entrenched in our current positions. We have to work with his agent to find an amicable resolution that will see him happy to stay at Lyon.” – Aulas told the press.
Newcastle’s withdrawal from this deal along with their fading interest in Bent suggests that Cisse will stay at the club this season. The Senegalese international has finally worn the much talked about Wonga Kit for the first time in a preseason friendly against St Mirren. Now with Cisse and new signing Loic Remy upfront, Newcastle does have a strong attack on paper.