Liverpool’s efforts to secure Aston Villa’s England international winger Stewart Downing are about to finally pay off after the two clubs agreed a fee for his transfer to Anfield.
Downing, 27 later this month, will now undergo a medical for Liverpool as well as officially discussing personal terms. The fee is believed to be worth up to £20m. It’s important to note the words “up to” – that price is understood to include a number of add-on clauses containing conditions that need to be met for the fee to reach that value.
LFC’s statement announcing the news was brief: “Liverpool FC tonight announced they had agreed a fee with Aston Villa for the transfer of Stewart Downing. Liverpool have now been granted permission to discuss personal terms with the player and arrange a medical.”
The Reds are currently out in Asia after embarking on their pre-season tour of the region. They got off to a winning start in the first fixture, a 4-3 win over Guangdong Sunray Cave in China with Christian Poulsen, David Ngog, Andy Carroll and Conor Coady getting the goals. Coady was making his debut for the first team, as was new signing Charlie Adam who came on in the second half.
UPDATE: Aston Villa have also confirmed an agreement has been reached with Liverpool for Downing. Their chief executive, Paul Faulkner, explained that Villa’s decision came after an improved bid from The Reds and also after Downing had put a transfer request in: “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.
“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.”
Downing is believed to have made it clear he was interested only in a move to Anfield and the transfer request was an expected move should Villa continue to hold firm in their bid to keep him.