Eastlands outfit set to spend big for Villa Park’s England star.
Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill says he is prepared to sell James Milner after the player expressed his desire to leave the club.
The England World Cup midfielder, 24, who joined Villa from Newcastle for £12m in 2008, was subject of a rejected £20m bid from Manchester City in May.
“I had a conversation with James before the World Cup and he intimated that he’d like to go,” said O’Neill.
“I’d imagine things will be resolved in the foreseeable future.”
The Villa boss added: “City made an offer but it did not meet our valuation.
“I’m sure matters will be resolved soon. James is back next week having had extended holiday.”
Should Milner leave for Eastlands then it would be the second high-profile midfielder to leave the Midlands club for their rivals in two seasons, following Gareth Barry’s £12m transfer to Manchester City last season.
City manager Roberto Mancini said this week that Milner remained on his shopping list, but that he did not want his club’s spending power to be exploited by their competitors.
“When Manchester City want to buy a player, other clubs ask much more than is normal,” stated the Italian.
“This is not good and it is not right. Until today, it is only City that are moving the market.
“We have bought three good players already. But now Inter Milan, for example, are asking a lot of money for striker Mario Balotelli, and we want to wait.
“We are interested in good players like Balotelli and Milner but we have time before the market closes in August. We have a lot of different choices.” (BBC Sport)
Rumours circulating suggest that Manchester City are set to complete the deal for the 24 year old England midfielder by upping their offer to £24m, a fee that Martin O’Neill is reportedly happy to accept. Roberto Mancini makes a good point about how much they are having to pay out simply because of the sheer wealth the Eastlands money men possess. The same thing happened to Chelsea when Roman Abramovich first took over at Stamford Bridge, and no one will have much sympathy for their plight given that this feeling of having to pay far more than their competitors hasn’t exactly stopped them from forking out for big name stars.