Brendan Rodgers hinted in the summer that he would be prepared to cash in on the 28-year-old and his sporadic appearances suggest his time on Merseyside is coming to a close just over a year after joining the club.
Downing, signed by Kenny Dalglish for £20 million from Aston Villa, has started five out of the last six games in all competitions but has often found himself filling in at left back as opposed to his natural position further upfield.
And, having struggled to nail down a place in Rodgers’ starting lineup this term, England international Downing isn’t prepared to sit on the substitutes bench for much longer and hinted that he will seek a move away from Liverpool in 2013 in search of regular first team football.
“The manager has said I can leave if I want to,” Downing said. “But then all of a sudden I’ve come back into the team, it’s a strange situation.
“I’ve played for a long time and there are spells when you can be in and out of the side. At the minute I’m trying to play as many games as possible.
“If that doesn’t happen I’m at an age where I can’t be sat around. I need to play and the manager understands that.
“That’s how the situation is and we’ll have to see what happens in January or the summer.”