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Downing eager for Anfield stay

Stewart Downing has no intention of leaving Liverpool ahead of the new Premier League season.

The England international has been consistently linked with a transfer away from Anfield after struggling to adapt since his reported £20million move from Aston Villa in 2011.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has already signed two attacking players this close-season – Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto – and is said to want to bring in further reinforcements, which has increased speculation that Downing could be heading for the exit.

However, the winger forced his way into manager Rodgers’ first-choice XI last season and has insisted he is only interested in fighting to retain his place.

Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, he pledged: “I’m here to stay. I’m enjoying it – especially last season. I got a good run in the team. Hopefully that will continue, and I need to work hard.

“I want it to continue. It’s why I came here – to play in a successful team. I want that to continue as long as possible.”

Downing is part of the Liverpool squad that was greeted by thousands of fans when they landed in Jakarta on Wednesday as part of their pre-season tour of Asia and Australia.

And the former Middlesbrough man admitted the size of the club’s global fan base never ceases to amaze him.

“It’s unbelievable – there were great scenes and the lads are happy to be here,” the winger added.

“They were following the bus and chasing after it on motorbikes. I’ve not seen that at any of the clubs I’ve been at before.

“You can’t doubt the support of this club worldwide.”

Wed 17 Jul, 2013
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