Manchester City - James Milner: Will City Stick Or Twist?
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James Milner: Will City Stick Or Twist?

Aston Villa's Milner is a fine footballer, there's no doubt. With a £20 million bid for his services rejected, City's hierarchy are considering their options. Player plus cash...?

There's a theory knocking around SportCity that although The Blues can guarantee what has become by now a widely accepted one up front payment for any player on the planet, the board might be prepared to offload a player or two into the bargain where Milner is concerned.

In the meantime, The Villa are determined to keep their man and have already lined up talks with the England international and his representatives before this summer's World Cup begins.

The Grauniad revealed this week that City's 'Football Administrator' Brian Marwood is heavily involved in negotiations. Talk of footballing directors and administrator's handling deals very often leads to unease amongst long serving traditionalists within the game, but it's become increasingly clear from day one that Marwood has a big role to play at City. Mark Hughes would probably concur that, but that's another story. This correspondent certainly hopes that City gaffer Roberto Mancini is fully involved in all player related developments.

As an integral part of upcoming signings, rather than simply up the bid as we saw in the lengthy pursuits of Craig Bellamy and Roque Santa Cruz, City might well take the opportunity this summer to offload a raft of senior players on big salaries who were loaned out left, right and centre throughout last season. The likes of the hapless Jo and Benjani spring to mind, yet there are also reports out there that City might yet consider trading in certain MCFC Academy graduates whose salaries don't quite meet the stellar levels of Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor.

In moves that would be sure to test the resolve of the vast majority of die hard Blues, players such as Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland, Nedum Onuoha, Kelvin Etuhu, Vladimir Weiss, Shaleum Logan and Micah Richards could end up figuring in a Milner transfer to Eastlands.

Above all else, the days are long gone whereby City fans dreaded each transfer window in the fear that our homegrown players would be sold. City no longer need to sell players, but at the same time, the Blues hierarchy may well decide that some book balancing is in order.

City set out to do their business early last summer as the stealth bomber signing of Gareth Barry showed. Germany international Jerome Boateng is alledgedly already in the bag and it's looking likely that City want Milner signed up before the World Cup.

We can expect Milner's situation to become clearer, maybe even resolved inside the next week. If so, will The Blues make Villa a financial offer they can't refuse or attempt to swing the midfielder's signature with the offer of a player plus cash deal?

Furthermore, will the player himself decide to stay at Villa Park?

Give us a shout both here and in the VMC Forums with how you see this situation developing...

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday May 22 2010

Time: 3:51PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I think he's on his way, but I just hope his arrival doesn't lead to Ireland's departure
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22/05/2010 16:20:00

Ireland, Bellamy, SWP and Richards and you can have him :)
Villa 4 Ever
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22/05/2010 16:51:00

Comedian on board. Straight fight between you and Chelsea.
SFC Forever
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22/05/2010 17:24:00

City shouldnt bid any higher than 25mill, because hes ridiculousy over priced . 15million is a realistic value for a player who has had only one "stand out" in his career so far. Just like stephen ireland - which makes me wary of milnar. City already paid over the odds for lescott and hope we dont make the same mistake again. City need players of proven consistency - season in/ season out at the highest level. English lads should be blooded from our academy. If city dont get milner, i wouldnt be sad. We can buy better players at a reasonable price aboard.
Super City Slicker
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22/05/2010 19:28:00

Or don't you get the new rules for next season ? Also yes Milner may not be worth 25m to you, but to Villa he is every thing and i think you forget he is one of our best players and we cannot replace him for what he brings to the team, he is English, he can play LB, RB, all across the midfield and upfront, he is an England International, he has spend hes whole career in the under 21's and he is getting better every season, next season he will be even better in CM, i would rather keep him, i wouldn't swap him for Gerrard or Lampard, but what we need is numbers in our squad and of proven class, that is the only reason we need a player plus money deal so we can replace and get more numbers to better ourselves, to us Milner is worth every penny of 30m because we cannot attract world class players at a lower value.
Villa 4 Ever
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22/05/2010 21:42:00

I really hope city dont get held to ransom by another premier league club. Is stephen ireland AND 30million a fair price for milner? Its unbelieveable. The myth that clubs cannot replace their star players is a lie. Everton replaced lescott with a cheaper, better distin, villa switched milner to central midfield to replace barry and arsenal got henry for anelka etc etc. Oneil MAY struggle to replace milner because he only buys british grafters and as we know some british players are stupidly over priced. If ireland regains his form next season, he would a bigger asset to city than milner. Ireland on his day is a poor mans iniesta, which means plenty goals and assists for city. He just needs time to adapt to mancini's way of football. Ireland in my opinion is valued at 15 million, are villa really saying that milner is worth 45 million?!?! Dont make me laugh. Villa dont have a playmaker in thier midfield and the criticism is, that villa dont keep possesion. Ireland would improve them for the better, with his touch of class in midefield i fear villa will be a much stronger force next season, not to mention they would have a extra 3omill in their back pocket to buy a few more players = day light robbery. 25 mill for milner - take it or leave it. When wesley sneijder cost inter milan only 22mill (no player swap deal included), it makes you wonder.
Super City Slicker
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23/05/2010 08:32:00

Great article JB. I was going to post about how Milner is not worth 25mil as he is not even an established international yet, but Slicker has beaten me to it with a brilliant post, couldn't agree more mate.
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23/05/2010 12:27:00

He cannot be worth more than 20million
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23/05/2010 12:37:00

Bearing in mind we don't have to sell any of our players, I don't want to see any of our Academy lads go unless they put in a request.
Johnny Baguette
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23/05/2010 12:43:00

we dont need milner.Villa is trying to get rid of all their debts with our money.this shouldn't happen.we should look elsewhere even in championship for quality.Milner doesn't have a postion to play, he is not stablized in any position.If he can beat defenders in midfield,it doesnt mean that he is equal to KAKA or 45 million.dont give Ireland to villa,they already took Dunne for cheap, i dont want o see ireland scoring against us next season with villans.Mancini use your brain Ireland is no crap he is a great quality,why in the world taggart tracking him!!Just think before you decide.
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23/05/2010 15:46:00

neverstops, i dont think you know much about us because we are one of the few clubs who havnt got a lot of debt, we dont need to sell milner at all, dont you think we would have accepted 20m for him if we did?? he is a very good player and i think alot of city fans dont want him beacuse he is not a 'world class name' like someone like kaka or ribery or robinho for that matter and look where he got you, milner would give you 110% every game in my opinion just what you need. Hope he stays with us though, i would only accept 30m + Ireland and Richards/Onohua for him or no deal!
I Am A Villain
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24/05/2010 09:04:00

just because we are not overly fussed about gettin milner (esp at that cost) does not mean we definitely want a 'world class name' as you put it. i'd rather have ireland performing at his best tbh. 30m+ireland and richards/onuoha? why dont you throw in hart and tevez while youre at it you deluded fool!
Report Abuse
24/05/2010 10:20:00

Iamavillian - have you actually spoken to City fans about what their opinion is? Or are you just making assumptions? The City fans that don't want him either don't feel he is what we need or just think the price is ludicrous. I however like Milner and think he would be a good addition to Citys squad. The price is ridiculous and the price you're quoting is insane. If Ireland is to be used in exchange it should just be a straight swap. For the record, most fellow City fans that I have spoken to want to see us sign young hungry players that will rise to the challenge, not what you suggest they want at all.
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24/05/2010 10:46:00

I have spoken to city fans yes, 2 of them are friends of mine who are there reguarly, they only want 'big name' like torres, maicon and ibrahimovich. And me_innit im bloody jokin you fool, course the price im sayin is ridiculous milner is quality and will turn into a new lampard in my opinion but he isnt worth that much, but he is to us as he is our best player so we wont sell him for 20m. And ireland wouldnt be a straight swap for milner no way, irealand is quality but milner gives 110% every single moment of the game and what ive saw of ireland he doesnt even though he can open defences up better than him but i still rate milner as a better overall player.
I am a Villan
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24/05/2010 12:04:00


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