This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool are closing in on finally capturing the signature of Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing – as new boy Charlie Adam thanked Kenny Dalglish for keeping the faith.
Dalglish and LFC director of football Damien Comolli have targeted Downing as the answer to the team's troublesome left wing position.
The Anfield outfit have already seen bids of £12.5million and £15m rejected by Villa, who are demanding a £20m package for the 26-year-old.
New Villa manager Alex McLeish doesn't want to lose the England international but privately accepts the player's departure is inevitable given his refusal to sign a new contract and desire to move to Merseyside despite late interest from Arsenal.
And Liverpool are now preparing to firmly test Villa's resolve with an improved third offer for the former Middlesbrough man.
Dalglish and his squad arrived in China yesterday to start their Far East tour, the first game of which is against Chinese second division team Guangdong Sunray Cave tomorrow.
Among the travelling party is Adam, who completed his £6.75m move from Blackpool last week after the Tangerines rejected Liverpool's initial advances for the player in January.
Adam admitted it was a "tough" period for him during the winter transfer window when Blackpool handed him a prohibitive price tag that scuppered hopes of a move to Anfield.
The player eventually rediscovered his form but could not prevent the Tangerines being relegated on the final day, prompting Liverpool to renew their interest.
And a grateful Adam is now looking forward to his opportunity at Anfield.
"I'm delighted to eventually be here," said the midfielder. "Obviously it was tough in January with the decisions that were made and I respected Blackpool in that and I have now been able to come here and join a wonderful club, a massive club that is well known all over the world.
"Obviously I'd like to thank the manager for bringing me here and it is a step in my career I'm looking forward to.
"I want to learn and there are some of the best players in the world at this club so if I can learn from them I am going to improve as a player. That is my aim."
Meanwhile, the agent of Alberto Aquilani has played down speculation linking the player with a move to Fiorentina this summer.
Reports in the Italian media claim the Viola are considering strengthening their squad by signing the Liverpool midfielder.
However, Aquilani's agent, Franco Zavaglia, said: "His future for the time being is at Liverpool. The player will remain there.
"With Fiorentina there are no negotiations in place, I have not even been approached by them. They are just rumours."
Aquilani, who spent last season on loan at Juventus, wanted to remain in Italy but received no suitable offers despite making 33 league appearances for the Turin outfit.
The 26-year-old was a reported target of AC Milan and Napoli this summer but announced earlier this month he will play at Anfield next season.
Liverpool signed Aquilani from Roma in 2009 and he is under contract with the Anfield club until June 2014.