Arsenal are reportedly preparing to contest Liverpool for Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing.
According to the Sunday Mirror, the north London club are ready to table an offer of £20 million for the 26-year-old, who has also been attracting serious interest from Merseyside.
Liverpool have been pursuing Downing for a number of months, but it would now appear that Arsenal will provide competition for the Anfield club for the England international.
The interest of Arsenal has seemingly been prompted by the potential loss of Samir Nasri, who has been tipped to leave the Emirates Stadium for either Manchester United or Manchester City.
Arsenal are expected to bring in around £20 million for Nasri – should he be sold – and it would appear Arsene Wenger is prepared to outlay the same figure to snatch Downing from the grasp of Liverpool.
Alex McLeish,though, remains hopeful he can keep Downing at Villa Park, but the former Middlesbrough man has had his head turned by the interest of Liverpool.
Downing has stated his desire to play in European competition – which could work in the favour of Arsenal, with Liverpool having missed out on a spot in next season’s Europa League.
However, the project at Anfield under the stewardship of Kenny Dalglish and the ownership of Fenway Sports Group is undeniably an exciting one, despite the lack of continental football during the next campaign.
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