Liverpool agree Downing fee

Liverpool have agreed a fee for Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing, the Anfield club revealed on Wednesday.Downing, 26, has reportedly been a target of two previous bids from Liverpool during the English Premier League off-season, and it now appears that the Reds are close to landing the England midfielder.

A statement on Liverpool’s website announced a bid had been accepted for Downing, with Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner telling The Guardian that Downing had handed in a transfer request to help push through the move.

“I can confirm that we have reached an agreement with Liverpool following an improved offer received earlier today and the submission of a formal transfer request by Stewart Downing, and have subsequently given them permission to speak with the player,” he said.

“We believe there are replacements available in the market who can strengthen our squad ahead of the coming season, and we are in discussions as such. We are also working hard to conclude a deal for a goalkeeper, who we believe can also strengthen the side.”

Downing joined Villa in 2009 in a package worth 12 million pounds from boyhood club Middlesbrough.

His arrival at Liverpool would be the latest big-money buy for manager Kenny Dalglish.

Strike duo Andy Carroll (35 million pounds) and Luis Suarez (22.8 million) joined in January, while midfielders Jordan Henderson (16 million) and Charlie Adam (seven million) have been off-season arrivals.