Reported Liverpool target Stewart Downing is set to begin talks with Aston Villa regarding his future with the club, assistant manager Gary McAllister has confirmed.
The 26-year-old winger has enhanced his reputation since moving to Villa Park from Middlesbrough in 2009, and continues to gather admiring glances from Barclays Premier League rivals.
According to Skysports.com, Downing is high on the summer wish list of Liverpool as they look to bring more potent wide options to Anfield.
With Liverpool circling, Villa are keen to tie the England international down with an improved long-term contract and discussions over a new deal will commence soon.
"Stewart has got two years left and we are getting into that area where it's coming into our vision,” said former Liverpool midfielder McAllister.
"It's in progress at the moment. We are starting to make contact with his agent.
"We have to keep good players here.”
Downing’s Villa teammate Ashley Young is also an alleged target for Liverpool.