The 28-year-old has endured a frustrating spell at Anfield after joining the Merseyside club for £20m in 2011, and has been told by manager Brendan Rodgers he can find a new club
The 28-year-old winger has frustrated Anfield fans in his 18-month spell at the club, and after being played up and down the left side this season, the manager's patience with Downing appears to have run out.
And with the blessing of Rodgers, the former Aston Villa man will start looking at alternative options in January - but may have to wait until the summer for a more permanent move.
"The manager has said I can leave if I want to. I think it's just the nature of football, the old cliche about it being a funny old game is true," he told reporters.
"I've played for a long time and there are spells when you can be in and out of any side. At the minute I'm trying to play as much as possible.
"If that doesn't happen I am at an age where I cannot be sat around. I need to play and the manager understands that."
The winger played 36 Premier League games for the Reds last season but failed to score a single league goal, and has not scored in six league appearances this term. He has, however, found the net three times in the Europa League.
And with Rodgers seemingly preferring Jose Enrique in a more advanced position on the left, Downing is looking at the upcoming transfer window and the summer for a potential move away from Anfield: "That's how the situation is and we will have to see what happens in January or in the summer."