Liverpool's official website Liverpoolfc.tv has just announced late tonight, Wednesday July 13th, 2011, that they have agree a fee with Aston Villa for the signature of Stewart Downing. After weeks of protracted negotiations for the winger it appears that Kenny Dalglish will finally have gotten his man.
This announcement also further proves that Liverpool still are a club built on a strong legacy, as Downing was subject to an Arsenal attempt to hijack his move to Merseyside, but the sixth place team from last season apparently has more pull than the six year trophy-less Gunners.
Arsene Wenger was reported to have submitted a £15 million bid for the England International just this past week as he tried to take the player out from under Liverpool's nose. However, after two failed Liverpool bids at £15 million and an undisclosed figure, it was apparent that it was going to be a tough bidding war.
Sky Sports two days ago reported that despite Arsenal's best efforts it looked as though Downing had his heart set on Anfield. Downing was expected to join the next look Gunners attack with recent addition Gervinho from Lille, but he wont be available.
This third apparent signature of the window, with a possible price tag of £18.5 million or higher, proves that Fenway Sports Group continues to show they are willing to do what it takes to win. There recent and ongoing work to secure the future ground of the Reds goes even further to their desire to build a lasting successful club.
Downing's move has yet to be fully revealed. The package that Aston Villa was searching for was in the nature of £20 million. If the Reds made a deal in the previous range of £18.5 million as suggested, they could have offered up a player as a makeweight plus the cash as the Villains could use the likes of a loan move from Daniel Pacheco to assist in the loss of attackers that can play wide after Ashley Young moved to Manchester United, and Downing loos set for Liverpool.
Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli joined the team and manager Kenny Dalglish in their recent trip to the Far East for a preseason tour to be able to still have one on one time with his manager and keep up the transfer activity, and their strategy seems to be bearing fruit.
Now the deal is down to agreeing personal terms with Downing. The Englishman still has two years left on his Villa contract, but if it is anything like recent Liverpool deals, it will be four to five years with the club which would see Downing in his age defined peak of fitness.