Manchester City finally land James Milner

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Manchester City have finally completed the signing of England midfielder James Milner from Aston Villa, with Stephen Ireland moving in the opposite direction.

Twenty-four-year-old Milner, who has signed a five-year contract, had been a summer-long target for the Citizens, with head coach Roberto Mancini a big fan of the former Leeds United and Newcastle United man.

He told the club's official website:"I am very happy to have James with us, everybody knows we have admired him for some time.

"He is an excellent midfielder, who can play in a number of positions. This is important for the team and I am looking forward to seeing him play for us.

"We have a very strong squad and this signing is a very important one for us.

"James he is already a very good player, who has proved he can play at the very top level, but he is also young and a good character,

"I think he can also improve and be a great player for Manchester City for a long time."

Milner scored 22 goals in 126 appearances for Villa, having headed to the Midlands from Newcastle in the summer of 2008, following an earlier loan spell at Villa Park.

Meanwhile, Ireland, 23, moves in the opposite direction after making more than 175 appearances for the Citizens.

Mancini added:"I hope things go well for Stephen at Villa. He is also a very good player and he has played a big part in City's history.

"I think he will enjoy the change of being at another club and I hope he does well for Aston Villa."

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