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Brighton edging Aston Villa in tussle for former England stalwart

| 24.06.2017

While Brighton & Hove Albion fans are still basking in the glow of securing top-flight football for the first time in 34 years, manager Chris Hughton is hard at work improving their survival chances – with Stewart Downing among his top targets.

The Seagulls are 2/1 favourites to sign the Middlesbrough man this summer – and he’d certainly offer enormous experience to a squad who are largely unversed in Premier League football.

Downing has over 400 top-flight appearances to his name, as well as 35 England caps and experience of playing in major finals for both Liverpool and Boro. And despite an inconsistent season in 2016-17, he still has plenty to offer at this level.

However, it’s possible we could see the 32-year-old leave Teesside to join one of his current club’s Championship promotion rivals – in the shape of Aston Villa.

Steve Bruce is 4/1 to lure the midfielder back to Villa Park this summer, with Downing having spent two seasons at the club from 2009-11.

The Villans are followed in the betting by a trio of dark horses, including two of Boro’s North-East rivals.

Sunderland – where Downing spent a brief loan spell early in his career – are 8/1 to add the experienced midfielder to their ranks, with newly-promoted pair Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town also priced up at 8s for his signature.

Stewart Downing – Club by end of Summer 2017 transfer window

Brighton – 2/1

Aston Villa – 4/1

Sunderland – 8/1

Newcastle– 8/1

Huddersfield – 8/1

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.