Reports have surfaced in the last 24 hours that James Milner and his team have been in negotiations with City over a new contract. His current deal is due to expire at the end of this season and the 28-year-old is hopeful to extend his stay at the Etihad.
At the England team camp ahead of matches against San Marino and Estonia, Milner is quoted by Goal.com as saying:
"We've been in talks with the club. We've talked about it and hopefully it can get sorted some time soon."
Keep in mind that at time of writing this, Goal (think of them what you will) is one of the few sites I have seen report this exact quote, and you'd figure that more of the bigger English media outlets would have this if it was said. I'm sure we will see soon enough whether or not this quote is real.
That being said, Milner did have some other interesting things to say on his situation:
"I don’t want to be paid to sit and watch. I want to earn my money, help the team and win trophies. You are not going to be around forever, you want to feel like you’re contributing and enjoy your football as much as you can. When you are playing more it helps you play your best football. I think I had a pretty good season (last season) but was in and out a lot. You just have to be professional and keep yourself right. The competition for places is massive - there are two world-class players for every position - and we have such a great squad so it’s hard to play as many games. You are never going to play all the games. It's great to be there. I am playing a lot more at this moment in time. It's a stage of my career that I’m enjoying. I just want to prove I should be part of that team."
The Englishman continued to speak on various topics ranging from the popular 'Boring Milner' twitter account to his attempts to learn Spanish to communicate better with his City teammates. Dedication, much? Give that man a new contract.
While the terms and length of any new deal for Jim remain to be seen, it does once again bring up the issue of player age in the recent wave of contract renewals. As Milner will be turning 29 in January, he is fast approach the age where players begin to decline. A hard-working player of his ilk may last a few seasons longer than the average player but there is still a certain risk there. For more on the topic, we can always look back to shuddertothink's piece from a few months ago.