Villa reject Reds' Downing bid
Reds boss Kenny Dalglish has had the England wideman on his wanted list for a number of months but firmed up his interest on Tuesday night. The winger fits the young, British profile sought by owners Fenway Sports Group. Downing, who has two years remaining on his contract, has grown frustrated at Villa Park following last season's disappointing and uncertain campaign. New manager Alex McLeish said at the end of June that he hoped he would be able to convince the former Middlesbrough player to stay at Villa. But it is likely Downing will move on this summer, although Villa are thought to want a fee closer to £20million to part with another of their key assets in the wake of Ashley Young's transfer to Manchester United. Liverpool have already signed Jordan Henderson this summer and are chasing Blackpool playmaker Charlie Adam. However, there have been rumblings regarding their stuttering transfer business after missing out on Phil Jones to United and Connor Wickham to Sunderland. As a result, there is likely to be a determination to complete a deal for Downing, whose pace and creativity in wide areas are thought to be integral to Liverpool manager Dalglish's rebuilding plans.