Liverpool have reportedly made a move to sign winger Stuart Downing from fellow premiership strugglers Aston Villa.
The former Middlesbrough midfielder has been a regular under Houllier this season, and is currently the clubs top scorer with five goals.
New Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is now targeting the England international to inject some much needed creativity into this struggling side.
It was reported earlier in the week that Downing had drawn interest from Sunderland, and may now be involved in the Darren Bent deal.
Downing joined Aston Villa from Middlesbrough 18 months ago, making 64 appearances for the club, and earning call ups to the national side from England manager Fabio Capello.
Downing’s manager Gerard Houllier had expressed his confidence in retaining the services of the midfielder. However, following an £18 bid for Sunderland striker Darren Bent, the club may now be ready to let Downing leave.
With Aston Villa having already spent £6 million on Lyon Midfielder Jean II Makoun, Chairman Randy Lerner may wish to generate funds for the potential signing of Darren Bent.
French manager Houllier may also require further transfer money this month, as he looks to bolster his side and climb the Premier league table and out of the relegation zone.