Winger to depart after two seasons at Anfield
Stewart Downing is set to complete a move to West Ham United after accepting his Liverpool FC career is over.
Downing underwent a medical yesterday after holding talks with the Londoners over a move to Upton Park at the weekend.
West Ham had already agreed a fee believed to be in the region of £6million for the 29-year-old.
Downing had spoken last month of his determination to fight for a first-team place at Anfield after dismissing initial interest from the Hammers.
But he has now accepted his long-term prospects would be best served elsewhere having been told by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers he was free to leave.
Should the transfer go through, it would represent Liverpool making a loss of around £14m for a player they bought from Aston Villa two years ago.
Downing, who has made 91 appearances and scored seven goals for the Anfield outfit, is poised to link up with former Liverpool team-mates Andy Carroll and Joe Cole.
Rodgers now faces a race against time to bolster his squad during the final three weeks of the transfer window, with a left winger and a centre-back still the priority.
Liverpool are confident they can sign Granada left-back Guilherme Siqueira for £5m, but fears a move for Diego Costa was doomed were confirmed yesterday when reports from Spain revealed the Brazilian has verbally agreed a new contract at Atletico Madrid.
Meanwhile, Kolo Toure is confident Liverpool are ready for the start of the new Premier League campaign despite defeat to Celtic.
Rodgers’ men had won all six of their previous pre-season friendlies, and Toure preferred to focus on the positives.
“Now we need to make sure that next week we are ready, and I think we are ready because we have been working so hard.
“The pre-season has been great; now we just need to put all the effort from pre-season into the games. Stoke is the target.
“The most important thing is next week – Stoke is going to be a really tough game.
“But after the pre-season we have had, we are really confident. We will give 100% and try to win the game.
“I feel great, the players have welcomed me and given me the help I need.
“I’m very happy to be in this team and I will do my best. I will give 100% every week; that’s what I’m here for, to play football.”
Toure was paired in central defence with Andre Wisdom against Celtic, a partnership that could continue at the weekend should neither Daniel Agger nor Martin Skrtel recover from minor injuries.
And Toure added: “We work as a team. He’s a young player who is learning, and when you are learning you will definitely have some hard times.
“But I think he’s a great player. He’s learning very well. He is going to be one of the best defenders in the Premier League, I’m sure.”