Randy Lerner unhappy with City’s Milner conduct

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Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has accused Manchester City of breaking rules over their continuing pursuit of midfielder James Milner.

The England international scored in Saturday's season-opening 3-0 victory over West Ham at Villa Park.

Milner has been linked with a £30million move to big-spending City throughout the summer after they made an initial bid for his services before the World Cup.

Villa have successfully held off City's interest in the 24-year-old midfielder, but Lerner is unhappy with the conduct of their Premier League rivals.

Twelve months ago Villa lost fellow midfielder Gareth Barry to City in similar circumstances.

"Big, bad Manchester City came along and asked for Milner and we said, 'No, he is not for sale'," Lerner told the Mail on Sunday.

"Under the rules you have to respect that. Manchester City respected that for two whole days. And then they violated the rules and came in for him again.

"We are not a selling club. A selling club is when you let it be known that you want to sell a player, through an agent or whatever.

"That didn't happen with Gareth Barry and it didn't happen with James Milner either. As for Ashley Young, he was never going."

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