Man City may lose Milner with host of top clubs keen
James Milner is the latest English star linked with a move away from Premier League champions Manchester City this summer, with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton rumoured to be tracking the World Cup call-up. City are favourites to defend their crown next season at 7/4.
Reports suggest that a number of the Sky Blues homegrown players, such as Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell are all to be put up for sale, while Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott are out of contract.
This is all despite City’s recent Champions League sanction, that says they can only have a maximum of 21 members in their roster for coming season’s competition. Four to eight of the players must be homegrown – English or academy participants in this country for at least three years.
Milner, 28, has been a crucial squad member for Man City since joining in 2010, helping them to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and League Cup during his time, but will now seek regular first-team football.
Yorkshireman Milner recently said: “It’s an ongoing question whether I am better staying off at a club like City and playing big games in big competitions or playing more regularly somewhere else.”
He featured in 31 league games last season, but only started 17 of them, and, although Manuel Pellegrini would be reluctant to let him go, the £20m signing from Aston Villa would certainly help his club with the Financial Fair Play restrictions. City have also been hit with a £49m transfer business limitation.
The Leeds United academy product has reportedly stated his intent to leave the club, with Arsenal and Liverpool his preferred options, but Pellegrini could yet offer him a new deal. Milner is out of contract next summer.
Tenacious midfielder Milner has been included in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man World Cup squad for Brazil this summer. The Three Lions have been placed in a tough pool (Group D), featuring Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica, and are third-favourites both to finish top at 2/1, or qualify for the knockout rounds at 8/13.