Date: 7th July 2011 at 4:27pm
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Liverpool’s bid to sign Aston Villa Stewart Downing has reach a sticky point with Villa boss Alex McLeish insisting that the winger is not for sale.

“He had a magnificent season last year and really came to full maturity as a top player,” McLeish told the Birmingham Mail.

“I understand why there’s teams interested in him and that is what happens when you play well consistently.

“His performances last season were top drawer. That’s why he’s not for sale. The club don’t want to sell him.

“I spoke to him briefly last week and I intend speaking to him again when all the lads are back in for training.”

It is thought that Downing is high on Kenny Dalglish’s priority list as we made a £15million bid for him and it was rejected by Villa. An offer of £20million may just tempt Villa to sell Downing but judging from McLeish’s statements, no price will be enough to sell Downing.

But a club saying they will never sell their player has never stopped a player from leaving. We saw that with Fernando Torres. All Downing has to do if he really wants to leave Aston Villa and join Liverpool is hand in a transfer request.
Villa may reject his request and demand him to stay but then they will have a very unhappy player in their squad so it would be best to just let him go and use the cash on another player.

I guess Downing now holds the cards for a potential move to Liverpool. All Liverpool can do now is try go back to Villa with a higher bid and hope that it is an offer too good for them to turn down, and they allow us to sign Downing. Or if that fails, Downing just needs to tell them that he wants to leave.