Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has admitted that James Milner could leave the club this summer amid reports that Manchester City are set to step up their interest in the England international.
City have already had one bid in the region of £20million for the former Leeds United and Newcastle United star rejected but are believed to readying an increased offer.
Asked if he was hopeful of keeping Milner, O'Neill told Sky Sports News:"Well, I don't know about that.
"Eventually if players want to leave the football club, or any football club for that matter, then it becomes more difficult than ever before.
"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 Milner comes into that equation."
The 24-year-old has found the net 21 times in 125 appearances for O'Neill's side.