Emirates boss looks to sign England international.
Stewart Downing ‘eyed by Liverpool and Arsenal’
Stewart Downing has emerged as a summer transfer target for Liverpool, but they are set to face competition for his signature from Arsenal.
The Reds are keen to find a winger to supply the ammunition for £35 million man Andy Carroll and had set their sights on Aston Villa’s Ashley Young.
But with Young likely to join Manchester United, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has turned his attention to another Villa and England star.
According to the News of the World, Downing is aware of the interest from Anfield and would welcome the chance to move.
The former Middlesbrough star would cost Liverpool around £10 million, but Arsenal are also set to make a move for the 26-year-old when the transfer window opens.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is said to have identified Downing as a player who represents excellent value for money in the inflated transfer market.
With Andrey Arshavin likely to be moved on in the summer after a frustratingly inconsistent season, the more direct Downing could find there is an opening to fill at Arsenal.
This would be more than a little surprising but perhaps given Stewart Downing’s form this season, and make no mistake the England winger has been one of the club’s only success stories this season, a move for the 26 year old would make sense.
Andrei Arshavin has had a real up and down season and has at times looked disinterested and off the pace and there has been much talk of a potential return to Russia. Arsene Wenger reportedly faces the prospect of also having to appease and assure a number of first team stars that the North London club has the ambition and ability to challenge for major honours and his assertion that finishing second ‘is no disaster’ will have worried many of the club’s top notch stars.
There is of course the obligatory linking of Cesc Fabregas with a return to Barcelona to worry about but Inter Milan are apparently also interested in Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie. The Gunners are likely to see a summer of changes as the club’s new owner Stan Kroenke looks to put his stamp on the Emirates Stadium outfit.
Downing arrived at Aston Villa in July 2009 and has been a consistent performer and is one of the top assist makers in the Premier League this term. Gerard Houllier has seen his side recover somewhat in recent weeks but could still struggle to keep his big names from leaving Villa Park in the summer.