Milner completes Aston Villa move

Aston Villa back in hunt for Toon ace James Milner

Aug 13 2008 by Alan Oliver, Evening Chronicle

 

 

ASTON Villa are ready to come back in and test Newcastle United’s resolve to hang on to their England Under-21 winger James Milner.

 

The talk from The Midlands is that Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill is ready to make a £6m offer for Milner – and this after he completed his seventh signing of the close season when he paid Rangers £7.8m for their Spanish central defender Carlos Cuellar.

 

Cuellar was watched by Kevin Keegan and Terry McDermott in some of the Gers’ European games at the end of last season, but United instead turned to Fabricio Coloccini as their big-money buy for this problem position.

 

The Chronicle reported last month that, after being linked with both Aston Villa and Liverpool, United’s top brass insisted Milner was staying at St James’s Park.

 

And Keegan will do all he can to make sure Milner remains a United player in his paper-thin first-team squad, which could yet be strengthened by another player from Real Mallorca.

 

But whether the United boss will let Abdoulaye Faye, subject of a £2m bid by Stoke City, head off to the Potteries remains to be seen.

 

And United target Stephen Warnock today denied reports that he has handed in a transfer request.

 

The 26-year-old England left-back said: “The reports are rubbish, I have not handed in a transfer request.”

 

In a separate development, reports in Italy claim Newcastle have signed former Chelsea midfielder Tiago from Turin giants Juventus.

 

The Gazetta dello Sport newspaper believes the Portugese ace has joined on loan for a year, with an agreement to make the deal permanent later for around £8m.

 

But one transfer that looks as though it will go through in the next 48 hours is not good news.

 

For Manchester United have agreed to pay Spurs £25m for their Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, and he was in the North West today to discus personal terms.

 

If the deal does go through the $64,000 question is whether Sir Alex Ferguson, with Cristiano Ronaldo already ruled out and with Wayne Rooney doubtful because of a virus, will hand Berbatov his debut against Newcastle in Sunday’s opener at Old Trafford.

 

But United could soon be again competing with the likes of Man U for the big-money players if Mike Ashley finds a new business partner.

 

And he could have found one with news coming out of the City that the United owner is due to meet Dell Computer Corporations chief executive Michael Dell this week.

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