Stewart Downing refuses to enter Aston Villa talks

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The Independent Football

Aston Villa winger and player of the year Stewart Downing is refusing to commit to a new contract with the midlands club.

Caretaker boss Gary McAllister intimated that Villa would be opening talks with Downing over an improved and extended deal.

But Downing, who has two years remaining of his current contract, has indicated that will not be happening in the foreseeable future.

The former Middlesbrough player told the Northern Echo: "I know the club are keen for me to extend my contract as I only have two years left on my deal.

"My agent (Struan Marshall) had a recent meeting with our chief executive (Paul Faulkner).

"However, I am 26, and at a major crossroads in my career, so I won't be committing to a new deal at the moment."

Villa will hope Downing eventually changes his mind otherwise they could face the same scenario as now confronts them with Ashley Young.

He has only 12 months left of his current deal and is being linked with a move to Manchester United or Liverpool.

Downing is delighted to be playing regularly after an injury-hit first campaign following his £12million move from Boro in the summer of 2009.

But he also admits he wants to eventually play Champions League football.

He said: "I want to keep playing and enjoying my football. When I was injured that made me realise what it can be like to be out for such a long time.

"It hurt. The most important thing is to play football, but I do want to play in the Champions League at some point."