Liverpool have not given up hope of completing a transfer for Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing reports the Daily Mirror.
The 26-year-old England international's future has been cast into doubt following recent comments from the player while on duty with Fabio Capello's Three Lions.
Reds manager Kenny Dalglish is keen to strengthen his wide midfield options at Anfield, and has reportedly set his sights on Downing.
After initial attempts to land Villa teammate Ashley Young, Liverpool have now turned their attention to Downing this summer.
Newly appointed Villains boss Alex McLeish, who was unveiled to the media in yesterday's Villa Park press conference has accepted that Young is likely to leave, but signalled his intention to ward off Liverpool interest in an attempt to keep Downing in the Midlands.
"No chance do we want Stewart Downing to go. We certainly don't want to lose Stewart - he's a top player," McLeish explained.
"I need to see what Stewart's thinking when he comes back because I know that he made some comments when he was away on England duty.
"I'll have a chat with one or two in the coming days and weeks before pre-season training starts,” he continued.
"It's not confirmed yet but it does seem likely, that Ashley Young will leave. In my humble opinion it will be very difficult to keep him," concluded McLeish.
Liverpool have already flexed their financial muscle in this summer's transfer market with the £20million acquisition of Jordan Henderson from Sunderland.
And while a figure of that amount is not likely to be required for Downing's services, Reds owners Fenway Sports Group will have to part with at least £10million to make an Anfield move possible.
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