Aston Villa and England midfielder Stewart Downing will become the subject of a summer transfer tussle between Liverpool and Arsenal according to the Metro.
The 26-year-old Villan has enjoyed a successful season personally, turning in a string of sensational performances for the Midlands club this campaign, and is set to be named Villa Park player of the year.
The News of the World reports how Downing, who has been rated at £10million, has emerged as a target for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, having been encouraged to spend in the summer by the Gunners' new majority owner Stan Kroenke.
Downing could be tempted to the Emirates Stadium by the offer of Champions League football with Arsenal, though he is understood to have his heart set on a move to Anfield.
Liverpool have long admired Downing, and interim Reds manager Kenny Dalglish made an enquiry as to his availability in the January transfer window only for the approach to be rebuffed.
Dalglish has made no secret of his desire to recruit in the wide midfield options this summer, to provide more firepower for recently acquired strike partnership Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.
Having spent nearly £60million in the January window, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group look set to continue investing in the playing squad by delving into the transfer market again this summer.
Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli is said to have given the green light for the Reds to step up their interest in Downing, but will face competition from Arsenal for his signature.
After compiling scouting reports from across Europe, Wenger believes Downing offers the best value for money in his position, and is prepared to sell the likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson and Carlos Vela to free up the necessary space on the Gunners’ wage bill.
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