The Blues have told the defender he is free to leave Fratton Park in the January transfer window.
But a move away from the club he joined from Blackburn in 2019 is likely to hinge on a pay-off, with six months remaining on the 30-year-old’s contract.
Doncaster are in the market for a central defender, with Gary McSheffrey being named as the League One struggler’s new manager yesterday.
McSheffrey is looking for up to five new additions in the January window, as he aims to reverse Donny’s fortunes.
And Downing fits the bill perfectly to bolster his side at the back, with a return to the club he spent the second half of the 2018-19 season at on the cards.
The former Walsall man has endured a torrid time at Fratton Park, making just nine league starts amid a total 27 appearances at the club.
A combination of injuries and falling out of favour has been behind that lack of football, although Downing has earned praise for his professionalism and conduct in that time.
Danny Cowley is desperate to raise funds to engineer his own transfer business and, with Downing one of the top earners in the Pompey squad, he is an obvious target to move on along with John Marquis, Ellis Harrison and Michael Jacobs.
Finding a club to foot his wages for the next six months is unlikely, however, leading to the reality Pompey will have to shoulder a contribution to his earnings or face the centre-half seeing out the remainder of his contract at PO4.
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