Date: 17th August 2010 at 8:44am
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Again Villa are proving they don’t get bullied in the transfer market. With no links inward today sadly, we will have to concentrate on the will-he-won’t-he move to Manchester City for James Milner.

James Nursey at The Mirror says that Villa WILL play Milner in Europe v Rapid Vienna if the deal hasn’t been made by then. Obviously he would then be cup tied, not that is as crushing a blow for City who have 352 midfielders at last count.

The deal, it appears, is being held up by Stephen Ireland wanting a £2million pay off from City. Can’t say I blame him, he was given a five year contract, (now just under four years remaining), so the club have to pay him up. I’d not walk away from that sort of money either. Matter of fact, I’d not walk away from a tenner!

Kevin MacDonald is quoted as saying he’ll name Milner if he is available adding, ‘If we were going to stop him playing then we should have stopped him playing in the Premier League.’ And he says the midfielder will WANT to play because ‘he just loves playing football’.

The Guardian have picked up on a rumour that has been doing the rounds recently, that James Milner is starting to question just how badly Manchester City want him and that he is frustrated and now unsure whether to make the move. The report says if the deal isn’t done in the next 24 hours, it won’t be done at all. They also claim that Milner himself has threatened to pull out of the proposed move.

That prospect, combined with Milner’s threat to pull the plug on the transfer, is expected to lead to a fraught day of negotiations between all parties tomorrow.

City are apparently willing to pay straight cash but Villa want Ireland as part of the deal and I’ve heard that isn’t negotiable, it is player + cash or nothing.

Another little bit that rings true from the ‘whispers’ is that part of Milner’s problem and reason for wanting out was his relationship with MON. The paper says Randy Lerner, the Villa chairman, and Paul Faulkner, the club’s chief executive, have spoken to Milner in the past week, strengthening the lines of communication that had broken down after O’Neill provoked a furious row during pre-season when he claimed that the player had told him he wanted to leave the club.

So, it is put up or shut up time.

Stewart Downing said to BBC Radio WM: ‘If he goes, we’ll wish him all the best, but if he stays we know what we’re going to get from him. It’s going to be a big gap for us to fill if he does go, but hopefully it falls through and he stays.’

A former Villa player, 30-year-old Darius Vassell is apparently wanted by Leeds. The former Villa and England striker is available on a free.

Yesterdays transfer gossip: Click Here