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Downing told he can leave Liverpool in January

Liverpool have told Stewart Downing he can leave in January.

The Mirror says Downing is not part of manager Brendan Rodgers' first-team plans, and the Kop boss wants to get the £70,000-a-week winger off the wage bill to free up some cash for new signings.

Liverpool will have to accept a huge loss on the £20million they shelled out to Aston Villa for Downing just 16 months ago because of the nightmare time he's had at Anfield.

They will either have to sell the England international for a knockdown fee or farm him out on loan, as they have in sending Andy Carroll to West Ham for the season.

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