Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is rushing back to the UK from the Reds’ tour of the Far East in order to complete the signing of Stewart Downing, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Aston Villa has agreed a fee of £20 million with the Reds for the midfielder, and now the Scottish manager is returning early to agree personal terms.
The news that Dalglish will miss Liverpool’s next pre-season game came from a source within the Malaysian sponsors of the tour.
Earlier on Thursday, Dalglish said: "We have agreed a fee with Aston Villa and he will undergo a medical. It is an ongoing process and we will reveal the details once everything is sorted out.”
Liverpool had faced competition from Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger for Downing’s signature, and Dalglish was still cautious about the deal despite a fee being agreed.
"It is a work in progress and we will see what happens and keep you informed."
The club had courted Downing for good reason. Described as the missing piece to the squad, the winger's pace and crossing ability on the left flank should provide Andy Carrol with plenty of opportunities upfront at Anfield next season.
If terms are agreed, the deal would send Dalglish’s spending close to the £45 million mark at Liverpool this summer.
Joe Cole’s place on the pitch would also be jeopardized by the former Middlesbrough man's arrival, with reports on talkSPORT claiming the Liverpool playmaker is on his way out of Merseyside.
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