Football

Liverpool decision surprises Downing

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Stewart Downing has admitted his surprise at how quickly Liverpool were willing to sell him to West Ham, and has refuted suggestions an 'incredible' offer persuaded him to move to the Boleyn Ground.

The 29-year-old winger joined the Hammers on Wednesday for a fee of around £5 million having failed to live up to expectation at Anfield following his high-profile transfer two years ago.

Downing had, however been under the impression that his future would lie with Liverpool beyond this transfer window, having spoken to Brendan Rodgers about his prospects with the club.

The England international was, then, baffled at the speed of which his move to West Ham was completed, having been convinced he was part of the plans of the Liverpool boss.

"I spoke to the manager and he said he wanted me to stay. So I’m disappointed that one minute I was staying and the next minute I’m gone," Downing told reporters.

“It was a surprise because it happened so quick. One minute I was in the starting XI for Liverpool, and the next I was on my way to London.

“I was playing in the team and playing regularly and that’s why I was surprised to be told that a fee had been accepted. It is normally when you are not playing, or you are not in the squad is why you leave.”

Rodgers claims Downing left Liverpool as he was unable to resist an 'incredible' offer from West Ham, although the player does not quite agree with the opinion of his former manager.

“I don’t know about that," Downing said when asked about Rodgers' comments.

“Obviously, I’ve got a four-year contract but having the opportunity to play was the big thing. At my age, I need to play. And in a World Cup year, I need to be in with a chance.

“Maybe for the club it was an ­unbelievable offer, I don’t know.”

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Topics:
Premier League
Football
Liverpool

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