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Arsenal & Liverpool to Begin Bidding War for Downing

It emerged today that Arsenal have shown their first act of real intent to sign Stewart Downing having been linked with the winger who has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool.

Villa rejected a £15m bid from the Anfield club for Downing last week and are believed to be holding out for as much as £20m for last season’s star man. Kenny Dalglish is still believed to highly interested in taking Downing to Liverpool but may now face strong opposition from Arsenal, who are in the market for midfielders with the likes of Fabregas and Nasri both linked with moves away.

It appears the England international has his heart set on a transfer and interest from two parties is always more beneficial to any selling club. Alex McLeish will be hoping that he is forced into a sale by an offer in excess of £20m and although many will see any sale as yet another big name leaving, it may be an ideal solution to rebuild the squad with no fewer than 3 top signings for the same amount.

Despite the fact that we have yet to make a signing this summer, Villa are believed to leading races to sign the likes of Charles N’Zogbia (£9m), Shay Given (£3.5m), Alan Hutton (£4m-£5m), Scott Parker (£6m-£7m) and Thomas Hitzlsperger (free). The fact that those 5 potential targets and their respective fees could amount to around £22m puts Downing’s £20m price tag into perspective somewhat, something that Lerner and McLeish will no doubt have already considered.

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