City have got claws into Milner – O’Neill

After leaving the England international midfielder out of the Villa

squad for Friday night’s friendly with Valencia, O’Neill said an

end to the summer-long transfer saga would be welcome. “We didn’t

play him primarily because there could be something happening in

terms of the transfer,” O’Neill said following the goalless draw

with the Spaniards. “I thought it would be the best thing to do not

to play him in case something develops over the weekend or Monday

or Tuesday. “I think there’s been fresh contact. I couldn’t tell

you whether there’s been a renewed offer. “I think there is

something in that there now, yes (getting it concluded quickly). I

agree. “I think that’s for everyone’s benefit really, it’s probably

time to get something done if it’s at all possible. “And I think

that was the aim anyway when the teams were talking. “But I’m

unable to furnish you with further details at this moment.” Villa

rejected a £20million bid from City for Milner in May and put

a £30million price tag on the versatile former Leeds and

Newcastle midfielder. City boss Roberto Mancini is still keen to

sign Milner and O’Neill believes developments could be imminent as

talks between the clubs are ongoing. Reports suggest Stephen

Ireland could be used as a make-weight in the transfer. But

whatever the details of the transfer, O’Neill appears keen for the

negotiations to come to a conclusion, despite again losing one of

the club’s better players to City following Gareth Barry’s move

last summer. O’Neill added: “I think losing your best players at

the football club would obviously cause you a headache. “That’s a

problem, it’s a problem because you’re trying to build something

and something like this happens. “It happened obviously two seasons

ago with Gareth – a few seasons ago now – the two years ago when it

didn’t get resolved and I’m not so sure anyone wants to go down

that route again.” O’Neill confirmed left-back Nicky Shorey was on

the verge of a move to West Brom. “Nicky has gone over there for a

medical,” said the Villa boss. “I know some fee had been agreed but

like anything else until it’s all done and dusted these days you

never know. “It seemed that everything was in place at the time.”