Stewart Downing puts Liverpool on alert by refusing to sign new Aston Villa contract

Winger believes he is at a "crossroads" in his career and will not be extending his deal anytime soon as he admits his dream of testing himself in European competition
Stewart Downing has cast doubts over his long-term Aston Villa future by admitting he will not be committing to a new contract any time soon.

The winger notched seven goals in a season in which he missed just 35 minutes of Villa’s entire campaign, and has been linked with a move away from the Midlands with Liverpool believed to be considering a bid.

The England international has admitted that his career is at a crossroads and he is unwilling to tie himself down to Villa.

"I know the club are keen for me to extend my contract as I only have two years left on my deal and that my agent had a recent meeting with our chief executive [Paul Faulkner]," Downing told the Northern Echo.

"However, I am 26 and at a major crossroads in my career so I won't be committing to a new deal at the moment."

Downing has forced his way back into the England set-up this year and admits he wants to test himself in the Champions League in future.

"I want to keep playing and enjoying my football," he added.

"When I was injured that made me realise what it can be like to be out for such a long time. It hurt. The most important thing is to play football, but I do want to play in the Champions League at some point.

"The most important thing for me, though, is to stay fit and then the rewards will come with that, hopefully. I have got back into the England squad, I have to make sure I stay there.

"It was horrible to miss the World Cup  last year, but I was not the only one. Looking back it was probably because I was injured for much of that season that I never made it."

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