Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Linked with Milner

A surprising rumour in today's Guardian: a £24million move for James Milner, who apparently could be lured by a possible offer of Champions League football and higher wages:

City's Abu Dhabi owners will sanction another lavish spending spree before the start of next season as part of their plans to become a major force in world football and that process will be largely overseen by Brian Marwood, the club's football administrator. Marwood has long admired Milner's qualities as a footballer and also knows the player well from his previous employment as head of UK operations for Nike, which sponsors the 24-year-old.

Villa would be likely to demand double the £12m they paid Newcastle United for Milner two years ago and the player could also expect to double his £45,000-a-week wages at Eastlands. Financing a deal will present no problem for the world's richest club but much may depend on whether City seize the final Champions League qualification spot and how events unfold at Villa Park during the summer.

This is a surprise. And I can't see it happening. For a start, the whole story is predicated on our playing Champions League football, which is probably a 40% shot at best at the moment. But even if we did make it into fourth spot Milner doesn't strike me as the sort of player to jump ship to City. His maturity, intelligence and level-headed nature all mark him out, and in fact have led to his being a very plausible target for Manchester United. If United could find the £24million fee I don't think there would be too much of a choice for him to make between the two Manchester clubs.

That said, he's an excellent player and I'd love to see him at City. Our midfield has been painfully lacking in dynamism this season, due to the form and fitness problems of Stephen Ireland and Michael Johnson. He's be a natural fit into a four man midfield with one of de Jong and Barry and into a five man midfield with both of them.


Philip said...

Pretty sure we could get him, if we paid the money. We'll be aiming for the title next year whether we're in the CL or not.

Trevbrierley said...

But will we play the reserves in the Europa League? (Only joking!)