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Liverpool agree Downing fee

Liverpool have announced they have agreed a fee with Aston Villa for winger Stewart Downing.

• Villa insist Downing is not for sale
• Guangdong 3-4 Liverpool
• Leicester sign Konchesky

Downing has been strongly linked with a transfer to Anfield this summer after Liverpool saw two bids, of £12 million then £15 million, rebuffed by Villa.

The Reds have now succeeded with a third offer, thought to be in the region of £20 million, after the player handed in a formal transfer request.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Liverpool have now been granted permission to discuss personal terms with the player and arrange a medical."

Paul Faulkner, Villa's chief executive, told the Guardian: "I can confirm that we have reached an agreement with Liverpool following an improved offer received earlier today and the submission of a formal transfer request by Stewart Downing, and have subsequently given them permission to speak with the player.

"We believe there are replacements available in the market who can strengthen our squad ahead of the coming season, and we are in discussions as such. We are also working hard to conclude a deal for a goalkeeper who we believe can also strengthen the side."

Downing was ever-present for Villa in the Premier League last season, demonstrating impressive form as he scored seven times and recorded the same number of assists. The 26-year-old joined Villa from Middlesbrough in 2009 for £12 million and has since made 63 league appearances for the Midlands side.

Dalglish has so far added Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam to his ranks as he looks to build on a positive second half of last campaign.

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