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Black Cats Offer £12m for Steve McClaren’s Best Mate

Stewart DowningIt may seem that Steve Bruce is planning a rather audacious bid for Aston Villa’s Stewart Downing.

According to the ‘ever-reliable’ Daily Mail, Downing could leave Villa Park for £12million, the same amount he cost the club back in 2009.

However, Villa are currently struggling and manager Gerard Houllier recently admitted that they were facing a relegation battle. That said, Downing has been one of their better performers this season and it is unlikely Houllier would want to lose the England International.

Sunderland are said to have been interested in Manchester City’s Adam Johnson and Wigan’s Charles N’Zogbia, but have been priced out of the market regarding both and now have moved their attention to the former Middlesbrough man.

Rumours regarding Ashley Young’s future in claret and blue compounded with this bombshell may worry Villa fans. However, should one leave, it is highly unlikely the other would also.

Villa are unlikely to accept any asking price bids for their top players in January. The Midlands outfit have struggled with injuries and their squad strength has been brought into question throughout the season. Houllier looks set to bring in some fresh faces in January, but it would take some huge bids to prize away their stars like Young, Agbonlahor or Downing himself.

If this happens, I’ll eat my hat.

Follow Matt Visser on Twitter @Matt_V_Football.

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Article title: Black Cats Offer £12m for Steve McClaren’s Best Mate

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