Report: Villa price up Stew
Aston Villa have reportedly slapped a price tag of £19million on winger Stewart Downing, who is a target for Premier League rivals Liverpool. Villa have rejected a second bid - of around £15m - for the England international from Liverpool. New Villa manager Alex McLeish would like to keep hold of Downing after losing the services of Ashley Young to Manchester United. But if the player is to leave, Villa will hold out for what they consider to be a fair price for the former Middlesbrough player. A source close to Villa said: "The club have made it known what they regard as a fair price for Stewart Downing, if he is to be sold." Liverpool had an initial offer of around £12m turned down for Downing - the price Villa paid for him when he moved from Boro two years ago. Downing has two years remaining of his contract but made it clear last month that he would not be signing a new deal at this juncture. He said: "My agent had a meeting with the club - just one meeting - and he just felt it was the right time not to sign my contract. "I've still got two years to go, so I've still got a long time to go, so I just decided to leave it as it is. "Will I be at Villa next season? I'm not sure." Downing is due to report for pre-season training on Friday with Villa. He endured an injury-hit first campaign after signing for them when still recovering from a broken foot. But last season Downing was in outstanding form and was Villa's player of the year.
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