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PFA hit back over Milner
28 Aug 2008 - 08:07:31
The Professional Footballers' Association has hit back at Newcastle United's criticism of their unsettled midfielder James Milner.
The Magpies spoke of their disappointment on Wednesday that the 22-year-old midfielder had submitted a transfer request just 12 months after signing a long-term contract.
However, the PFA who represent Milner claim the criticism is unwarranted as the England Under-21 international had kept his position at the club and contract situation private over a period of time.
Milner has been linked with moves to both Aston Villa and Liverpool this summer.
"The PFA, who represent James Milner, are disappointed that information regarding his request for a move, and the circumstances surrounding it, have come to the public's attention, and we feel we have no option but to respond," deputy chief executive Mick McGuire told the association's official website.
"The facts are that James' transfer request was actually handed in on Wednesday, August 20, at which point it was asked by Newcastle to keep the matter private.
"The request was given because the player was looking for an improvement on his contract that reflected his development and his value to the club.
"To clarify the situation, James did sign a contract 12 months ago. However, this agreement was reached with the club nearly 12 months previous at the point at which Newcastle had agreed to sell James to Aston Villa on transfer deadline day 2006 before cancelling the agreement at the 11th hour.
"Since then he has played over 80 games for Newcastle. All James wanted was a deal that reflected his development and that was in line with Newcastle's transfer valuation of him."