Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing prefers Sunderland switch over Rangers

Here is the latest news from around League One and Two (27th March 2019).

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 9:10 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 9:13 am
DERBY, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Stewart Downing of Middlesbrough during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby and Middlesbrough at iPro Stadium on April 21, 2018 in Derby, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing would prefer a move to Sunderland over Rangers, according to the Northern Echo.

The Echo reported on Tuesday morning that the ex-Liverpool star was being monitoring by the duo, however also revealed interest from elsewhere.

While the 34-year-old’s options remain open, the Black Cats are believed to hold the early upper-hand should negotiations commence.

That is because Downing would prefer to stay closer to his North-East home for family reasons having moved back from West Ham United in 2015.

Downing has not started a game since December 29 - as instructed by the club - as another start would trigger an automatic contract extension.

Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips has tipped on-loan Sheffield United defender Ben Heneghan for a bright future.

Heneghan, who has made 42 appearances for the Seasiders this season, bolstered his reputation with a Man of the Match display in Saturday’s 4-1 win at Bradford City.

The 25-year-old had initially struggled for form at the beginning of the term but is now one of the first names on the Blackpool team sheet.

Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer believes Arsenal-linked Joe Aribo wants to stay at The Valley.

The Gunners are reportedly hopeful of completing a deal for free agent Aribo in the summer, though Bowyer claims the youngster wants to commit his future to the Addicks.

He told South London Press: “I spoke to Joe last week, I had a meeting with him. He wants to sign and I think it’s just trying to agree with his agent.

“Joe likes it here. He’s learning and improving – that’s all you can say.”

Meanwhile, Coventry City full-back Jack Grimmer has revealed he has held talks with a number of clubs in Scotland after falling out-of-favour at the Ricoh Arena.

Northampton Town boss Keith Curle has paid tribute to the club’s academy after four under-18s players were offered professional contracts.

Scott Pollock, Ryan Hughes, Jack Newell and Bradley Lashley have all been offered their first senior deals, taking the tally from their age-group to be handed pro contracts up to seven.

Morgan Roberts, Jay Williams and Camron McWilliams had already put pen to paper this, and Curle admits the club is blessed to have such a lot of homegrown talent coming through.

The League One and Two Team of the Season was announced on Tuesday evening. Here they are in full:

League One Team of the Season: Adam Davies (Barnsley), Ethan Pinnock (Barnsley), Matt Clarke (Portsmouth), James Justin (Luton), Jack Stacey (Luton), Alex Mowatt (Barnsley), Herbie Kane (Doncaster), Cameron McGeehan (Barnsley), Aiden McGeady (Sunderland), James Collins (Luton), John Marquis (Doncaster). Manager: Daniel Stendel (Barnsley).

League Two Team of the Season: Joe Day (Newport), Mal Benning (Mansfield), Jason Shackell (Lincoln), Krystian Pearce (Mansfield), George Edmundson (Oldham), Jay O’Shea (Bury), Michael Bostwick (Lincoln), Danny Mayor (Bury), James Norwood (Tranmere), Tyler Walker (Mansfield), Chris Hamilton (Mansfield). Manager: Ryan Lowe (Bury).