Liverpool agree fee for Villa`s Downing

London: Liverpool have agreed a fee with Aston Villa for England left winger Stewart Downing, the Premier League club said.

Kenny Dalglish`s side, sixth last term, have been on a midfield recruitment drive as they bid to return to the upper reaches of the top flight with Sunderland`s Jordan Henderson and Blackpool`s Scotland international Charlie Adam already joining.

"Liverpool FC tonight announced they had agreed a fee with Aston Villa for the transfer of Stewart Downing," the club statement said.

"Liverpool have now been granted permission to discuss personal terms with the player and arrange a medical," the club added on its website.

Downing made his name at Middlesbrough thanks to his crossing ability and has earned 27 England caps, although the 26-year-old has never been a regular starter for his country.

Liverpool, who like Villa have an American owner, began their push to `Buy British` with the capture of England striker Andy Carroll from Newcastle United in January.

Villa finished ninth last season after a topsy-turvy campaign and new coach Alex McLeish has already lost winger Ashley Young to Manchester United with Downing now looking set to leave the Midlands club as well.

Bureau Report

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