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Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Monday, 26 July 2010 15:26 UK

James Milner holds 'amicable' talks with Aston Villa

James Milner
James Milner joined Aston Villa from Newcastle in 2008 for 12m

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill held "amicable" talks with James Milner on Monday to discuss the midfielder's future, the club have confirmed.

O'Neill revealed last week that the 24-year-old England international had expressed a desire to leave the club amid interest from Manchester City.

And with Milner back in training after a month off following the World Cup, O'Neill was keen to resolve the issue.

Milner will now join the Villa squad in pre-season training in Portugal.

He will not be involved in Tuesday's friendly against Walsall, but will join his team-mates when Villa fly out on Wednesday for the Guadiana Cup featuring Benfica and Feyenoord.

Milner took a full part in club training at Bodymoor Heath on Monday following his meeting with O'Neill, at which his agent Mathew Buck and the club's chief executive Paul Faulkner were also present.


Manchester City had a £20m bid for Milner, who joined Villa in a £12m deal from Newcastle in 2008, rejected earlier this summer.

Following that, O'Neill revealed that Milner "intimated he wanted to go" but added that the club will not allow the player to leave unless their valuation is met.

"City made an offer but it did not meet our valuation. I'd imagine things will be resolved in the foreseeable future," said the Northern Irishman last week.

The ongoing transfer saga echoes that which resulted in Gareth Barry eventually swapping Villa Park for Eastlands in June 2009 in a £12m deal.

And BBC Sport's football reporter Pat Murphy said on Radio 5 live: "O'Neill wanted to talk to Milner over his version of a meeting held on 31 May attended by, amongst others, owner/chairman Randy Lerner.

Unless Milner makes it clear he wants no part in Villa's future, he will have to travel with the squad to Portugal on Wednesday for pre-season training

BBC Sport's football reporter Pat Murphy

"O'Neill is adamant Milner would not discuss a new contract. As far as O'Neill is concerned, Milner wanted to leave Villa.

"Milner, however, is challenging that interpretation - possibly because the player fears a backlash from supporters similar to that experienced by Barry a couple of years ago. But O'Neill is in no mood to have his version of that 31 May meeting challenged.

"Unless Milner makes it clear he wants no part in Villa's future, he will have to travel with the squad to Portugal on Wednesday for pre-season training."

Manchester City have splashed out more than £80m this summer already, prompting many to tip Roberto Mancini's outfit for a Premier League title challenge this season.

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see also
O'Neill prepared to sell Milner
22 Jul 10 |  Aston Villa
Milner wants to go - O'Neill
22 Jul 10 |  Aston Villa
Villa reject 20m bid for Milner
20 May 10 |  Man City
Villa should sell Milner - Morley
12 Jul 10 |  Aston Villa
Aston Villa seal Milner transfer
29 Aug 08 |  Aston Villa

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