Liverpool have moved a step closer to signing England winger Stewart Downing from Aston Villa after the two clubs agreed on a fee.

Former Middlesbrough player Downing has been a key summer target of Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish, and talks with the 27-year-old can begin.

Liverpool said in a statement on their official website: "Liverpool have now been granted permission to discuss personal terms with the player and arrange a medical."

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