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Former Middlesbrough winger is hoping to secure a switch to Anfield after refusing to sign a contract extension as he looks to follow Ashley Young out of Villa Park this summer

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Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing is set to hand in a transfer request in an attempt to speed up his protracted move to Liverpool, according to reports in the The Mirror.

Downing has been the subject of keen interest from Liverpool, and the England winger is keen on joining Kenny Dalglish’s team - although Aston Villa are reluctant to lose the former Middlesbrough winger after seeing Ashley Young join Manchester United.

The 26-year-old has two years remaining on his current contract but has no intention of renewing his deal. However, Liverpool must find a compromise with Villa, who have slapped a £19 million asking price on the player.

Downing has 27 caps for England but believes a move to Liverpool would help boost his chances of securing a more regular starting role in the national side.

Aston Villa are keen to keep the player but it is thought they would reluctantly accept a sizeable fee as they look to raise some transfer funds for new manager Alex McLeish, who has been linked with moves for Scott Dann and Ben Foster from his former club, Birmingham City.

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