After news broke late last night that Liverpool had been given permission to open negotiations with Stewart Downing, Reds boss Kenny Dalglish's perseverance looks to have paid off as he closes in on another long-term target.
Having finally reached agreement with Aston Villa over a fee for the England international winger, the 26-year-old is now ready to travel to Merseyside to complete a medical and discuss personal terms.
A statement from Villa's chief executive Paul Faulkner on the club's official website read:
"I can confirm that we have reached an agreement with Liverpool following an improved offer received earlier today and the submission of a formal transfer request by Stewart Downing, and have subsequently given them permission to speak with the player."
As the Liverpool squad touched down in Malaysia for part two of their pre-season tour of Asia, Dalglish was quizzed in a press conference open to the world media by journalists eager to find out the latest developments ahead of the proposed transfer.
"We have been given permission to speak to the player," Kenny confirmed. "We will now try to agree personal terms with him, but it will all depend on the medical."
Much like the signing of Charlie Adam, who Liverpool first tried to sign in the January transfer window. Downing's Anfield switch now looks to be a formality as the Reds met the valuation required to get their man.
"It is a work in progress and we will see what happens and keep you informed."
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