Arsenal and Liverpool are leading the race to sign Stewart Downing, according to the Daily Mail.
The England winger, recently called into Fabio Captello's squad for the European Championship qualifier against Switzerland, has had a good season for Villa despite the teams' difficult term under Gerard Houllier.
And with Arsenal and Liverpool looking to build upon contrasting seasons, Downing is seen as the beginning of their transfer dealings this summer.
Kenny Dalglish has put a winger at the top of his transfer wish list for Liverpool this summer, while Arsene Wenger may have to look for a replacement for Andrey Arshavin.
Arsenal had their title challenge derailed by Liverpool after Dirk Kuyt's late penalty salvaged a draw for Dalglish's men, who have undergone something of a revival since Roy Hodgson's departure half-way through the season.