McLeish: ‘Downing is a top player’

Alex McLeish has stated that he will do all he can to retain the services of Stewart Downing.

The new Villa boss wants to prevent another key player from leaving the squad while Ashley Young looks Manchester-bound.

Kenny Dalglish has been keen to sign the player for Liverpool as his primary attacking target of the transfer window.

“No chance do we want Stewart Downing to go,” McLeish said. “We certainly don’t want to lose Stewart - he’s a top player.

“I need to see what Stewart’s thinking … because I know that he made some comments when he was away on England duty.”

The 26-year-old winger, who has two years remaining on his contract, stalled on signing a new deal last month, saying that he wants the chance to play Champions League football.

“I am 26 and at a major crossroads in my career so I won’t be committing to a new deal at the moment,” he said.

A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City16151048113746
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd16112336112535
3Chelsea16102428131532
4Liverpool1686234201430
5Arsenal1692530201029
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1684428141428
7Burnley168441512328
8Leicester CityLeicester166552322123
9Watford166462527-222
10Everton165472029-919
11Southampton164661619-318
12Huddersfield TownHuddersfield165381126-1518
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton164571421-717
14Bournemouth164481519-416
15Stoke CityStoke164481935-1616
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle164391625-915
17West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom162771222-1013
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham163491432-1813
19Swansea CitySwansea163310918-912
20Crystal Palace162591027-1711
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