Villa reject City's bid for Milner


BIRMINGHAM, May 20 – Aston Villa have rejected Manchester City's 20-million-pounds (28-million-dollar) bid to sign England midfielder James Milner.City boss Roberto Mancini has made Milner his first target as he prepares to revamp City’s squad following their failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Mancini has been given around 150 million pounds (216 million dollars) to spend by City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners, but he will have to improve his offer to land Milner, who is currently at England’s training camp in Austria ahead of the World Cup finals.

Villa manager Martin O’Neill is desperate to keep Milner and plans to hold talks over a new contract with the former Leeds star.

A Villa spokesman said: "We have received an offer from Manchester City for James Milner and this has been firmly rejected.

"We plan to sit down with James and his representative after the World Cup to agree a new long-term deal and this remains our position."

Milner, 24, enjoyed a successful season in a new central midfield role after previously spending most of his time on the wings and was recently voted the PFA Young Player of the Year.

He is halfway through the four-year contract he signed when joining Villa for a club record 12 million pounds from Newcastle in 2008.