Liverpool have had a £15m bid for Aston Villa midfielder Stewart Downing rejected. The Midlands club are demanding nearer £20m for the England international.
The new bid follows up a bid of £12m recently, and reports suggest the player himself could hand in a transfer request next week in order to force through the move.
The Mirror report Downing has refused the offer of a new contract with Villa and, with just two years remaining on his current deal, believes Villa should be reasonable over the fee they are demanding.
Liverpool could now pursue other targets, such as Valencia winger Juan Mata – whom the club have enquired about and been given a fee in the region of £20m. Given his age and massive potential the Spaniard could be a much more attractive signing.