Liverpool fail in Downing bid
Anfield club see initial offer of £15m for England winger rejected
By Peter Fraser - Follow me on Twitter @SkySportsPeteF. Last Updated: July 6, 2011 1:22pm
Sky Sports sources understand that Aston Villa have rejected an initial £15million bid from Liverpool for Stewart Downing.
The winger has been reported as a target of the Anfield club for several months and fits the young, British profile sought by owners Fenway Sports Group.
Liverpool made an opening offer for Downing on Tuesday as they attempt to prise the England international away from Villa, where he has two years remaining on his contract, but it has not been accepted.
Rumours have suggested that 26-year-old Downing has grown frustrated at Villa Park following last season's disappointing and uncertain campaign.
But 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.
It is therefore thought that a fee closer to £20million would be required if Villa are 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 manager Kenny Dalglish's rebuilding plans.