Liverpool are ready to make an opening offer for Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing.

The The Sun says the Reds are set to make a £12million swoop for Villa's unsettled star Downing.

Downing has two years left on his Villa contract and is refusing to discuss a new one.

The England winger, who shares the same agent as Anfield stars Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, said: "I know the club are keen for me to extend my contract.

"But I'm 26 and at a major crossroads in my career. I do want to play in the Champions League at some point so I won't be committing to a new deal at the moment."

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