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Young and Downing keen on UCL

Ashley Young has outlined his desire to play in the Champions League as he prepares to hold talks with Aston Villa over his future.

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Young, 25, is out of contract in 2012 and has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool or Manchester United.

He is currently on international duty with England and is not prepared to make any decisions before Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley, but he has stressed that he is eager to play at the top level.

"I've always said I'm going to talk to the chairman and the manager after this game," he said. "I've always said the same thing. I have given 100% in every game I have played for Villa and I'll continue to do that. I'm away with England now and my focus is fully on England-Switzerland.

"We know it is going to be a massive game but it is always nice to have speculation."

On Saturday's Champions League final, he said: "As a kid, you always want to play in the biggest competitions. I am no different. I did find myself sat there thinking: 'I wish I was out there.'"

He added: "I have never doubted my ability. There will always be people who do and everybody is entitled to their opinion, but my opinion is that I can play in the biggest and best competitions.

"I always want to challenge myself. To challenge myself is to play in them big competitions - hopefully one day I will be able to do that."

Stewart Downing has also been linked with a summer move after admitting he is at a "major crossroads" in his career, and he too has talked up the importance of Champions League football.

"You can see a lot of players are mentally strong," Downing said. "If you are in these type of competitions like the Champions League, you are used to winning. You can see the determination they have."


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