Liverpool boosted in chase for wing wizard

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Liverpool have been boosted in their reported chase of Aston Villa winger Ashley Young.

The England international has emerged as a surprise Anfield target after failing to agree a new contract at Villa Park, with Roy Hodgson keen to strengthen his attacking options when the transfer window re-opens in January.

The former Fulham boss has been linked with a string of attacking players in the last week, with Mirko Vucinic, Mario Gomez and Carlton Cole all reportedly on the Liverpool radar.

Young's Villa Park contract expires in 2012, and despite promising negotiations at the start of the current campaign the player has failed to agree terms on a deal. The former Watford player stated that he'd wait until the end of the season to finalise a new deal, but interest from Spurs and the Liverpool could change that.

The Daily Star reports that Young is keen on a £14 million buyout clause in his contract, but Gerard Houllier values the player in the region of £20 to £22 million. If the two parties can't come to an agreement, then the Midlands side might be forced to sell in January.

Liverpool boss Hodgson has been promised funds to spend by new owners NESV, and an attacking partner for Fernando Torres is thought to be high on the agenda for the Merseyside club.

25-year-old Young would joun Steven Gerrard and Joe Cole as an attacking English trio at the club, and a cut-price deal for the player would almost certainly please the Liverpool faithful.

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