New Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has insisted that Liverpool target Stewart Downing is not for sale. The Anfield club had a £15 million bid for the England winger rejected, and the Scotsman has stated that he wants the 26-year-old to remain at the Birmingham outfit for the 2011/12 campaign.
“He had a magnificent season last year and really came to full maturity as a top player. I understand why there are teams interested in him and that is what happens when you play well consistently. His performances last season were top-drawer. That’s why he’s not for sale. The club don’t want to sell him. I spoke to him briefly last week and I intend speaking to him again when all the lads are back in for training,” the ex-Rangers boss has reportedly stated in The Guardian.
Villa are believed to value the ex-Middlesbrough flyer at £20 million, and with two years left on his contract are not as likely to sell as in the case of Ashley Young, who was allowed to join Manchester United as he was coming into the last year of his deal at Villa Park.
Meanwhile, Kenny Dalglish’s side are on the verge of signing Roma’s Brazilian goalkeeper Doni, with a move expected to be sown up on Friday.
“We should close the deal by the end of the day [Thursday],” the 31-year-old’s agent, Ovidio Colucci stated to Impero Romanista.
“Of course, anything could happen before the signatures are added to the contracts but I can confirm that there is only Liverpool for Doni. The only concrete offer has come from Liverpool and we hope to wrap everything up by this evening,” he concluded.