Report: Reds Formally Approach Aston Villa About Stewart Downing Bid

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Liverpool was linked to a move for Aston Villa's Ashley Young for much of the better part of the 2010-11 season.

Now, it appears that the team may instead land Villa's other England international wide player, as the team has now formally reached out to the Midlands club about Stewart Downing, according to Sky Sports.

The 26-year-old Downing leads Villa with five goals thus far this season, and though he initially struggled with injury after his £12 million transfer from Middlesborough 18 months ago, he has done well since.

Sunderland may also be competing for Downing's services, and — ironically — it may be the Black Cats' sale of Darren Bent to Villa for £18 million that forces Gerard Houllier to cut budget and sell Downing.

Downing's 2009 injury woes have chipped away at his transfer value, now believed to be under £10 million despite his strong form.

Prior to the Bent sale, Houlier had said that he believed that the club would be able to retain Downing's services.

For Liverpool, Downing would help fill the club's gaping void of natural wide players — coming in with relatively high upside for a relatively low likely cost.

Check out what Downing is capable of in the video below.

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