Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has dismissed reports claiming he sanctioned the signing of Stewart Downing after watching a video of the England winger on YouTube.

Downing moved to Anfield in the summer from Aston Villa for a fee in the region of £20 million, and has made 29 appearances for the Reds this season.

But, before the deal was completed, Liverpool owner John W Henry and his right hand man - Werner - reportedly watched some internet footage of Downing performing some impressive feats on the training ground.

This, it is reported, was enough to convince the American duo that they had to bring Downing to Anfield, and the 26-year-old move to Merseyside in July.

However, although Werner admits he checked Downing out online before letting the deal go through, the Reds supremo denied it had any influence on his decision.

"Someone told me about this," he told

"It's a great story, but unfortunately for the person who wrote the piece, it isn't true.

"It actually comes from an interview I did five months ago with Ian Ayre for our club TV channel in which I said that when we first talked about signing Stewart, we'd found a video of him kicking footballs into some trash cans.

"I explained in that interview back in August we knew the footage had been doctored but I guess that detail doesn't really help stand up the story.

"The amount of people involved and the work that goes into a signing a player is huge so the suggestion that we'd buy someone on the back of one doctored video is ridiculous.

"The story that a hoax video caused us to buy a player is more of a hoax than the video. John and I don't get involved in choosing footballers to acquire."

Meanwhile, Liverpool have completed the signing of Wales under 19 international goalkeeper from Blue Square Bet Premier League side Wrexham.

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