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Milner linked

A story that surfaced a month or so again is back in the papers this morning, with both the Mail and Guardian reporting that a bid for Aston Villa midfielder James Milner is imminent.

The bid - according to the press at least - is expected to be in the region of £24million, a high sum in comparison to what you would expect to pay on the European market but around the lower end of what you would expect to pay for a young English player coming off his best and most consistent season, and someone with plenty of upside.

Milner would bring the goals and influence that we so severely lacked during 2009/10 (and that I identified in this post as a necessity this summer). The difficulty you have of course is that you have to have a willing partner in terms of a sale and there has been nothing to suggest at this stage that Villa would be interested, and secondly, would Milner himself want to move.

He does appear to be enjoying his time at Aston Villa, and has become a central figure in that side over the past twelve months, and I don't necessarily see comparisons between him and Gareth Barry so to suggest a move would be a formality may well be wide of the mark.

The decision Milner may be faced with though is if he believes that whilst both Villa and ourselves were fairly even over the course of the season, there is the argument that Villa's ceiling has been reached, whilst the potential for success with ourselves is much greater.

Milner has of course been previously linked with a move to Manchester United, and I suspect that given his age, he may well just decide to opt against a move at this stage of his career should the opportunity present itself.