Alex McLeish demands right attitude from Liverpool target Stewart Downing
Alex McLeish expects Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing to maintain the right attitude and professionalism if his hopes of a move to Liverpool fail to materialise.
Villa have rejected bids of £12 million and £15 million from the Reds for Downing and McLeish wants the England international to remain at the midlands club.
McLeish says he overcame failing to secure a move to Manchester United as a player and would expect the same response from Downing if he is still at Villa next season.
He said: "I've spoken to Stewart, I've told him I don't want to sell him.
"There's an obvious distraction there for him but he's been a credit to himself and applied himself in the right way and worked his socks off in training. I don't see a problem professionally.
"Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign me for Manchester United when I was at Aberdeen and that wasn't possible in the end.
"That was a big disappointment but I got my head down and worked and I don't doubt Stewart has the character to get through this is he stays at the club.
"It's part of your growing up as a footballer."
Villa will demand £19 to £20 million if it becomes apparent they cannot retain Downing who has two years remaining of his current contract.
McLeish is optimistic of signing a new keeper to replace Brad Friedel in the near future with Shay Given expected to complete a £3.5 million move from Manchester City.
He said: "We certainly need a keeper and we are making progress. We would like it to happen a bit quicker but we are moving forward."
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food