After a man of the match performance for Middlesbrough in the FA Cup last weekend Downing said of his negotiations
"Talks are going well and I hope to sign a new deal soon."
However, his agent Ian Elliott told www.skysports.com the talks are still at a delicate stage.
"We have had preliminary discussions with Middlesbrough, but that is it so far. Stewart would like to stay with Boro as he is a Middlesbrough lad. If the right deal is produced by Middlesbrough then he will sign, if not - then there are a number of interested clubs. This is a huge contract for Stewart and it needs to be right for him."
Any move for Downing would be seen as very ambitious and in all honesty very unlikely to come off, especially with the other clubs linked to him but he has spent time on loan this season in Division 1 with Sunderland.
City are more realistically going to sign Andy Monkhouse from Rotherham. As reported yesterday the 23 year old has been widely reported as going to join City next Monday after Rotherham visit Ninian Park on Saturday.