Villa reject Sunderland bid for Downing

Sky Sports have reported that Sunderland have made an offer for Aston Villa’s former Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing.

The England international has previously played for the Black Cats on loan from Middlesbrough in 2003, and boss Steve Bruce is thought to be a keen admirer. Aston Villa have rejected the offer saying that the player is not for sale under any circumstances.

Downing who signed for Villa in 2009 for a fee of £12 million has had a solid season weighing in with five goals in his 21 starts this term. Downing scored his first two goals for Villa in their 5-2 league thrashing of Burnley late last season.

Sunderland will now turn their attention to Wigan’s former Newcastle winger Charles N’Zogbia. Wigan accepted a bid of £8 million in the summer from Birmingham, but the former France U-21 international decided he wanted to stay put in Wigan.

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