Stewart Downing looks set to leave Middlesbrough at the end of the 2018/19 season with his contract set to expire at the Riverside Stadium.
The former England international hasn’t played since December due to a clause in his contract that triggers an automatic extension for next season.
Teeside Live had reported that Rangers were the frontrunners to secure Downing, with boss Steven Gerrard having played with the winger previously.
Fresh reports have emerged today, however.
The Daily Record has claimed that Downing would prefer to join Boro’s rivals Sunderland in a bid to stay closer to his family in the North East.
The 34-year-old’s latest update will surely delight the Black Cats – although any deal will be subject to the club winning promotion.
Jack Ross’ side are in contention for a top-two finish and it looks like being an exciting end to the League One campaign.
Although Downing is coming towards the twilight of his career, his experience could be crucial to Sunderland.
Downing has played 408 Premier League games and a further 115 in the Championship.
If he does opt for the Stadium of Light it would represent a real blow for Rangers and Gerrard.
Downing would still be seen as a decent signing for a Scottish Premiership club and Rangers’ loss would definitely be Sunderland’s gain.