Aston Villa make £12m bid for Stewart Downing

Aston Villa are reported to have agreed a £12m fee with Middlesbrough for winger Stewart Downing. The England international will be out of football until October following surgery on a foot injury, but it looks as if Martin O'Neill wants to tie up the deal before the start of next season.

Downing has made no secret of his desire to play Premier League football next season as he attempts to cement his place in Fabio Capello's England squad for next year's World Cup in South Africa. Boro chairman, Steve Gibson, has promised the 24-year-old that he can leave the club provided they receive a good enough offer.

Martin O'Neill is looking to replace Gareth Barry who joined Manchester City earlier in the summer and Downing would provide cover for the left of midfield. Villa are also said to be interested in Downing's Boro teammate Tuncay Sanli. The Turkey international has been valued at £8m.

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