O’Neill: Milner wants to leave

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Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has revealed that Manchester City transfer target James Milner has asked to leave.

O'Neill vowed to fight to keep hold of the England international after rejecting an initial £20million offer from the big-spending Eastlands club before the World Cup.

However, following Milner's return to pre-season, O'Neill has admitted the 24-year-old midfielder will be allowed to leave if the price is right.

Milner, who still has two years remaining on his existing contract, has made 90 appearances for Villa since arriving in a £13million deal from Newcastle United in July 2008.

Speaking earlier in the month, O'Neill admitted the former Leeds United and Newcastle man was key to Villa's hopes of improving on last season's sixth-placed finish in the Premier League.

"Eventually if players do want to leave the football club, or any football club for that matter, then it becomes more difficult than ever before," he explained.

"But what I will say is we have a better chance of performing in the manner in which we did last season if we could keep the best players and James comes into that equation."

O'Neill has been linked with a move for West Ham United midfielder Scott Parker should Milner leave Villa Park.

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