Martin O’Neill thinks James Milner could stay at Aston Villa

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Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has not given up hope of James Milner remaining at the club this season.

The 24-year-old England international said earlier this month that he wanted to leave Villa Park after learning that O'Neill had rejected an offer from Manchester City for him.

However, City boss Roberto Mancini is understood to be unwilling to match Villa's £30million valuation of the former Leeds United and Newcastle United star.

Milner is with the rest of the Villa squad on their pre-season tour of Portugal, from where O'Neill said:"It's no further forward since I spoke to you a few days ago.

"James is with us here (in Portugal) so I haven't heard anything. It's the owner and chief executive who are dealing with it.

"I really don't know if City will come up with the money. The fact is we had a situation with Gareth Barry a couple of seasons ago. The move to Liverpool didn't materialise.

"We put a valuation on him, it wasn't met and Gareth came back to play some of the best football of his career and James is certainly in the same mould."

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