Downing Out: Villa Reject £15m Liverpool Bid
Aston Villa have reportedly turned down a £15 million bid from Liverpool for sought-after winger Stewart Downing after valuing the player at closer to £20 million.
Downing, who originally arrived from Middlesbrough for £12 million in 2009, has stalled on contract talks so far this summer and it is widely thought that new Villa boss Alex McLeish is willing to let the player go to raise funds for transfers.
Though several other Premier League clubs have also been linked with the England international, Liverpool remain favourites to capture Downing’s signature and boss Kenny Dalglish is likely to return to Villa with an improved offer later this week.
The Anfield head honcho is understandably keen to further strengthen his squad after finishing sixth in the league last season and Downing would certainly add some pace and creativity to the power and thrust of previous signing Jordan Henderson.
However, the news of Liverpool’s continued interest will be the cause of further distress for Villa fans already irked at the appointment of former Birmingham boss McLeish and the sale of star player Ashley Young to Manchester United.
Should Liverpool get their man and Villa be stripped of the second of their three most-prized assets, it will surely signal a time of great unrest for the fans and will undoubtedly see supporters voicing their anger at the board’s latest decisions.