Aston Villa’s most valuable asset James Milner is yet to resolve his future amid keen interest from Manchester City.
Despite having the World’s richest club breathing down their necks, the status quo is unlikely to change before the start of the World Cup with Villa holding out for an even more substantial fee.
The West Midlanders have already turned down a £20m bid and Martin O’Neill is frantically trying to hang onto his prize player by convincing him to stay as an integral part of the club’s future. The rhetoric emanating from Villa Park is understandable but most will feel that O’Neill is simply swimming against the tide.
£30m is generally considered to be the magic number needed for City to secure the deal and for Villa to capitulate in the face of market forces. With Milner following in the footsteps of former teammate Gareth Barry looking like a foregone conclusion, the pertinent question is – is he worth it?
Milner admirers would state that the sum reflects the fact that the 24-year-old has established himself as a permanent fixture in the England side and that he has time on his side to continue to develop.
On the other hand, £30m does look like an awful lot of money for a player who cost Villa just £12m to sign from Newcastle 18 months ago and who only began to capture the public imagination last season following O’Neill’s decision to move him to the central berth.
There will come a point when even City will question whether they are getting value for money and I suspect that if Villa continue to call their bluff, it might just come back to haunt them.
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