Aitor Karanka blocking Stewart Downing's loan move to Crystal Palace?

Stewart Downing in action for Middlesbrough on August 28, 2016
© SilverHub
A report claims that Middlesbrough midfielder Stewart Downing will only be allowed to leave the club on loan this month if he joins a Championship side.

Stewart Downing reportedly favours a loan switch to Crystal Palace after being told that he can leave Middlesbrough, but boss Aitor Karanka is unwilling to send him to a Premier League rival.

The ex-England international is thought to have been in a transfer tug-of-war between Palace and Newcastle United, who were both keen to add his experience to their midfield ranks this month.

Downing was supposedly informed that, having not played a full 90 minutes for the Smoggies since October and largely been used from the bench in recent weeks, he was free to choose his destination for the remainder of the campaign.

According to The Telegraph, however, the 32-year-old is now on a collision course with boss Karanka as he feels he still has enough to offer in the top flight but may not be given the chance to prove it.

Karanka is said to have ruled out offloading to a direct relegation rival, with Palace currently directly below them in 17th place in the table, but it is not known if Newcastle are still interested in the former Liverpool ace.

Stewart Downing in action for Middlesbrough on August 28, 2016
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