Manchester City complete Milner transfer

James Milner has finally completed his protracted transfer to Manchester City.

The England midfielder, 24, has joined the big-spending Blues after a summer of speculation over his future, although Eastlands always seemed likely to be his ultimate destination.

Milner has signed a five-year contract and midfielder Stephen Ireland has joined Villa from City as part of the deal.

Milner, who completed his medical late yesterday, could make his City debut in their Premier League clash with Liverpool at Eastlands on Monday.

City boss Roberto Mancini told www.mcfc.co.uk: "I am very happy to have James with us, everybody knows we have admired him for some time.

"He is an excellent midfielder who can play in a number of positions. This is important for the team and I am looking forward to seeing him play for us. We have a very strong squad and this signing is a very important one for us.

"James is already a very good player who has proved he can play at the very top level. But he is also young and a good character, I think he can also improve and be a great player for Manchester City for a long time."

Milner replaces Ireland as City's number seven, and Mancini added of the departing midfielder: "I hope things go well for Stevie at Villa.

"He is also a very good player and he has played a big part in City's history. I think he will enjoy the change of being at another club and I hope he does well for Aston Villa."

Milner's future had been the subject of ongoing speculation since Villa rejected a bid of around £20million from City in May.

Then Villa boss Martin O'Neill revealed last month that the midfielder had asked for a move away from Villa Park and had refused to sign a new contract.

Villa's decision to sell Milner and how much of the fee O'Neill would be able to reinvest in the transfer market were rumoured to be key factors in the Northern Irishman's shock resignation last week.

Under O'Neill, Milner developed into one of England's top midfielders last season, proving a revelation after moving from the wing into the centre.

He was the principal figure behind Villa's ultimately unsuccessful push for a Champions League spot and his form earned him a starting spot in three of England's four World Cup games in South Africa.

Indeed, Milner was one of the few players to emerge with his reputation intact from a disappointing tournament and City continued their pursuit on his return.

The two clubs finally agreed a fee but the deal was held up still further by the involvement of Ireland, who reportedly demanded a £2million pay-off from City.

Milner played in Villa's opening Barclays Premier League game of the season against West Ham last Saturday and scored in a 3-0 win, earning a standing ovation as he bade his farewell.

But the transfer has now finally gone through, bringing an end to two years at Villa Park for Milner and eight years with City for Ireland.

Ireland, now 23, looked set for a great future at Eastlands after breaking into the first team as a teenager and then picking up the club's player of the year award for the 2008/09 season.

But his opportunities dried up once Mancini replaced Mark Hughes last autumn and the Italian made it clear Ireland's future lay elsewhere.

Milner began his career with Leeds and became the Premier League's then youngest scorer when he netted against Sunderland on Boxing Day 2002, nine days before his 17th birthday.

Leeds' relegation saw Milner sold to Newcastle in 2004 but he was on the move again a year later when a clause in the deal that took Nolberto Solano from Villa to St James' Park sent Milner on loan in the other direction.

A permanent deal seemed on the cards the following summer but Newcastle eventually decided to keep the midfielder, and he stayed with the Magpies for another two seasons before joining Villa for a reported £12million in 2008.

Milner becomes City's eighth signing of the transfer window and follows in the footsteps of former Villa team-mate Gareth Barry, who moved to Eastlands last summer.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform