Anfield club now free to discuss terms with winger after agreeing reported £20 million fee as Kenny Dalglish looks to add to English contingent
Liverpool have confirmed on their official website that they have agreed a fee with Aston Villa for winger Stewart Downing.
A statement on Liverpool's official website reads: "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."
Arsenal reportedly made an enquiry for the winger but Downing favoured a move to Anfield with Kenny Dalglish keen to add to his growing English contingent following the January arrival of Andy Carroll and the summer acquisition of Jordan Henderson.
New Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish was keen to keep Downing after losing Ashley Young to Manchester United within days of joining the club, but the midfielder is now free to discuss terms with Liverpool after they agreed a reported fee of around £20m.
Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner confirmed the deal on the club’s official site.
"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,” he said.
Villa are reportedly keen on Wigan Athletic’s Charles N’Zogbia and Faulkner confirmed that he believed there were players available to replace Downing.
He added: "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.”
With Brad Friedel having left the club to join Tottenham, Faulkner confirmed that the club were in the market for a goalkeeper.
"We are also working hard to conclude a deal for a goalkeeper who we believe can also strengthen the side," he said.
"As soon as we have dependable, conclusive information to share then we will do so."
Liverpool have also recently completed the signing of former Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam, who made his debut in a 4-3 friendly victory over Guandong in Asia on Wednesday.
The signing of Downing would take the club's summer spending far beyond the £40m mark as they aim to mount a challenge on the top four next season.