Stuart Downing’s move from Aston Villa to Liverpool stood on the verge of collapse last night as The Anfield club dug their heels in over the size of the fee.
“Stuart is a full England international with years of top flight experience, we have put a value on him and we will not come down from that” said first team coach Steve Clarke.
“As a club we can’t be seen to be paying less for him than we did for Jordan Henderson or Andy Carroll so we’re all hoping that Villa will see sense and allow us to push the fee over the £20 million mark.”
“We’ve spent the best part of £60 million on those two lads so we’d look really silly if we got Stuart for less than £15 million, Villa need to seriously look at what they’re asking for the lad or we’ll walk away from the deal.”
Villa Chairman Randy Lerner has vowed to stick to his guns and has expressed amazement at Liverpool’s behaviour.
Speaking from his ranch in America: “Stuart is a good player, no more or less than that. Liverpool’s bid of £20 million is ridiculous and is an insult to anyone that knows anything about football.”
“We accepted their first bid of £10 million and the one after that for £12 million but they keep coming back with more, it’s almost as if they’re saying we know nothing about football.”
Both parties are hoping that negotiations will succeed as the player has gone public with his desire to move to Liverpool.
“As a boy I dreamed of playing in front of the Kop, who would have thought all those years ago that I’d get to play alongside the likes of Henderson, Carroll and Charlie Adam, this really would be a dream come true” said an emotional Downing.