Villa plot Red reaction to £12m Downing replacement - reports

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Aston Villa's hopes of hitting back at Liverpool by moving for the Reds' reported target Juan Manuel Vargas looks to have hit the buffers after the Peruvian international ruled out a move away from Fiorentina this summer.

According to the Daily Mirror, Villa boss Alex McLeish was lining up a move for the 27-year-old Serie A star who can play at left-back, left wing-back, or as a midfielder.

Having seemingly reached agreement with Liverpool for the transfer of Downing, the claret and blue's 2010-11 player of the season is Anfield-bound pending a medical and the signing of personal terms.

Vargas, known for his dribbling, free-kicks and accurate crossing, would cost in the region of £12million - considerably less than the £20million thought to have been generated from the sale of Downing from Villa to Liverpool.

He would represent a good replacement for the outgoing England international, but the Villains plans to put one over Kenny Dalglish's Reds, seems to have now been dented.


"I see no reason to leave [Fiorentina]," explained Vargas. "I have had an excellent relationship with the club and the fans since I first joined the club.

"The Della Valle family, who own the team, have always expressed great belief in my ability and have always backed me.

"I thus see no reason why I should have any intention to say goodbye to the Viola shirt for next season."

McLeish will now turn his attention back to Charles N'Zogbia, a player he tried to sign for his previous club Birmingham City, but a move to Villa Park is seemingly much more likely due to having access to a bigger wage budget.

With Aston Villa already losing their three best players this summer, Brad Friedel (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Man Utd) and Downing (Liverpool), it will be important for McLeish to replenish the squad ahead of the new season.

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