Friday, 21 May 2010

'Do I expect to be at Villa next season? I don't know'

I'd always been under the impression that James Milner would not be interested in a move to City. There's something about his attitude, his maturity, his self-definition against the Bentley-driving set which makes you think he almost models himself on the Johnny Haynes, Duncan Edwards generation of footballers. I naturally presumed he had little interest in moving to our arriviste outfit, preferring to stick with Aston Villa unless and until he gets that phone call from Sir Alex Ferguson.

Which is why our £20m bid took me by surprise. As Danny wrote, our making a formal bid implies some level of contact between MCFC and James Milner, and an indication of interest from the player. Not every indication of interest leads to final agreement - Samuel Eto'o and John Terry both indicated sufficient interest to MCFC last summer to induce formal bids from us for them, though neither decided to join. But our bid certainly reflects a flicker.

This flicker of interest was further revealed yesterday by Milner's comments in an interview on England duty, where he declined the opportunity to commit his future to Villa:
"I want to finish my career, go into my trophy room and see winners' medals," he said. "I've enjoyed my time at Aston Villa, it's a great club to be at and we are moving forward in the right direction ," Milner said. "Do I expect to be at Villa next season? I don't know. I've worked as hard as I can and concentrated on club football while the season has been on. Now it has finished, I'm focusing on England - and that's the only thing I am focusing on. To be linked with any clubs is flattering but I'm just concentrating on England at this time."
Now, this is some way short of what the papers call a 'come and get me plea.' But it's not nothing. I remain unsure whether or not Milner will join us this summer. I am more confident of it, though, after reading these comments than I was before. That said, if Chelsea are as interested as The Sun say they are, then he's as good as theirs. Either way, it's time for Garry Cook to get back on the phone.

6 comments:

Heavyriffs said...

Splinters in his bum at Chelsea, or onwards and upwards at City...

guleed said...

A tad average in my eyes, but he would improve us in midfield thats how dire we have been there.

He does have the dynamism to drive the ball forward we have been missing since Ireland decided to become more Clark Kent and less Superman this season.

The best thing about the move is that it may be just the tonic to bring out the best from Gareth Barry again, because he has certainly seen a drop in form from the early part of the season. A revitalised Barry and the dynamism of Milner would be a good central midfield pairing. Although neither have that eye for a killer pass that Ireland does, they would make our midfield a lot more solid.

That would give us the option of employing a 4-4-2 or dropping to a 4-5-1 by slotting De Jong in front of the back 4 and playing Tevez as a lone striker. Hmmm doesn't look too bad, I'm coming round more and more to this deal....

John said...

A move to city for Milner would be the wrong one as he will no doubt turn crap like Barry did in amongst a soulless club with more money than sense. However if you lot paid 24 million for an utterly average defender, surely we'll be talking in the region of a 50+ million transfer for Milner, which, plus Ireland and SWP i'd gladly take from you.

JPB said...

John, define 'soulless'.

trinder said...

And John, while you're at it, be all grown up and tell us what makes Milner so special. I'm genuinely interested in how Villa fans see him and whether he's the right attacking midfielder for City. Most of all, we need someone who's clever, inventive and can spend all afternoon handing out sweets to our forwards.

Philip said...

Yeah, these clubs bankrolled by rich foreign sugar daddies really do lose their soul don't they...But enough of Villa, what about City?

Milner would be a fool not to come. Villa aren't likely to be challenging for the title soon unfortunately, whereas we are. That's football.

24-26 million would be fair to both parties.