Juan Mata
Mata posted a series of impressive displays at the recent U-21 championships.

Liverpool are considering a bid for Lyon winger Michel Bastos if Kenny Dalglish fails to sign Stewart Downing, reports today suggest.

Bastos can play at left-back or on the left-wing, two areas that Dalglish is eager to strengthen ahead of the new season.

Yesterday, Liverpool completed the signing of Blackpool captain Charlie Adam but the club are still keen to bring in wide options to resolve a long-running dearth of talent in those areas.

The 27-year-old could solve those problems, and his impressive set-piece taking ability would provide ample ammunition for Andy Carroll ahead of the new campaign.

The Brazil international's proposed transfer to Juventus collapsed last month and Liverpool are now prepared to meet Lyon's £12m asking price, reports suggest.

Down, not out

Aston Villa have rejected Liverpool's £15m bid for England international Stewart Downing and manager Alex McLeish insists the midfielder is not for sale.

"He had a magnificent season last year and really came to full maturity as a top player," McLeish told the Birmingham Mail.

"I understand why there's teams interested in him and that is what happens when you play well consistently.

"His performances last season were top drawer. That's why he's not for sale. The club don't want to sell him.

"I spoke to him briefly last week and I intend speaking to him again when all the lads are back in for training."

If Liverpool are unsuccessful in their pursuit of Downing the club will 'join the race' for Valencia midfielder Juan Mata, according to The Mirror.

Unlike Downing, the Spanish starlet is available and Valencia are willing to sell the U-21 international for around £20m. Arsenal and Tottenham are also interested in the winger after a series of impressive displays at the recent U-21 championships in Denmark.