Manchester City target James Milner admits: 'I don't know if I'll be at Aston Villa next season'

20 May 2010 07:37
James Milner is content to put his club future on hold until after the World Cup but admits he does not know if he will still be at Aston Villa next season.  

Milner insists he is focused 100 per cent on helping England achieve glory in South Africa. But the midfielder is in demand after an outstanding season, with Manchester City tabling a £20million bid on Wednesday for the 24-year-old which was instantly rejected by Villa.  

Eyes on the ball: Milner training in Austria with the rest of the England squad

Milner has two years remaining of his current deal at Villa and is due to hold talks over a new contract. But the former Newcastle midfielder is adamant his priority is helping Fabio Capello's side in South Africa.

Milner said: 'Do I expect to be at Villa next season? I don't know. I've worked as hard as I can and concentrated on club football while the season has been on. 

'Now it has finished, I'm focusing on England - and that's the only thing I am focusing on. 

City target: Villa turned down a £20m bid for James Milner on Wednesday evening

'The speculation about my own future is not distracting. There are always going to be rumours about every player in every club when the transfer window opens.  'To be linked with any clubs is flattering but I'm just concentrating on England at this time.  

'The season finished at Villa a week and a bit ago and we all said we would discuss it (my future) after the World Cup. 

'I've enjoyed my time at Aston Villa, it's a good club, we've had a lot of success this season, came close in two competitions, and we are moving forward.'

Capello recently described Milner as 'the future' for England and he has made great strides this season at Villa after being switched into a central midfield role by manager Martin O'Neill.  

Catch me if you can: Milner is expected to make Capello's final cut

But the PFA Young Player Of The Year is determined not to rest on his laurels. He said: 'It is nice to hear praise from any manager but it is then down to you to prove that correct and drive on again and try and improve again. 

'You can't stand still especially with the competition that is about. You just want to become the best player possible and do as well as you can every time you train or play a game. 

'Have I improved? You would like to think you've improved every season and I am lucky enough to be working at a good club with a great manager and staff and some very good players. 

'There are some very good players here with England and, if you can't learn anything from playing with those sort of players, you are going to struggle.'

Milner is the most capped player for England at Under-21 level but knows the World Cup will be an extra step up. 

Race against time: Milner could fill Barry's boots if the midfielder doesn't recover in time for World Cup

He said: 'The World Cup is the biggest competition you can play in. The whole world is watching.  'As a player, you want to play against the best players, test yourself, and play in the best tournaments, whether its the Champions League or World Cups.

'Every player is desperate to get on the plane to South Africa and prove themselves on the biggest stage.'

Milner poses a biggest threat as an attack-minded midfielder but is ready to drop anchor and fill the void left by the more defensive-orientated Gareth Barry if his former Villa team-mate is ruled out through injury.  

He said: 'Whether there is a role for me in place of Gareth is down to the manager. If he asks me to play there, I'll be prepared to play there.  

'I've played there most of the season. I'm happy there, there is no difference to playing there than with your club. I'll be happy to play there.'

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Source: Daily_Mail