West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald has played down talk of West Ham moving for Stewart Downing – but has said that he rates the winger highly.
Reports surfaced earlier this week claiming that West Ham were readying an £8m bid for the England international.
Downing signed for Liverpool in the Summer of 2011 and has endured a difficult couple of seasons at Anfield. He failed to register a single goal or assist in the league in his first season and was told by Brendan Rodgers that he was free to leave early last season before claiming a regular role on the right flank for the team.
Sam Allardyce is said to be in the market for wingers to provide ammunition for new signing Andy Carroll, a previous signing from Liverpool this Summer. Downing was said to have been signed by Kenny Dalglish to provide crosses for Carroll, but they never got going together.
Although McDonald says they would like to have Downing at Upton Park, he said that talk of a move is premature.
“He’s a very good player,” he told talkSPORT. “A player of that calibre and West Ham being involved would be great, but it’s all paper talk at the moment.”