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Premier League

O'Neill expects Milner to give his all

Aston Villa midfielder James Milner could end up staying at the club, manager Martin O'Neill suggested last night.

England international Milner has been chased all summer by Manchester City.

But big-spending City have yet to agree a fee for Milner and O'Neill is waiting to see if they make a new bid that Villa deem as suitable.

Villa rejected an opening offer of £20million from City in May and O'Neill is confident that Milner will continue to give his all for the club if he is still at Villa Park when the transfer window closes next month.

O'Neill, speaking after his side's 2-1 friendly win at Walsall last night said: "There is no question that James Milner will continue to give his best if the deal doesn't go through."

Milner held talks about his future with O'Neill yesterday at the club's Bodymoor Heath training camp on his return from an extended summer break following the World Cup.

But it is the Villa owner Randy Lerner who ultimately holds Milner's future in his hands.

O'Neill added: "I think the owner puts a price on players. Of course, he will have an idea on the price.

"Negotiations are being conducted by the Villa chief executive and the owner and I will be guided by them."

Milner will join up with the Villa squad tomorrow to fly out to Portugal when O'Neill's side will compete in the Guadiana Cup against Benfica and Feyenoord.

O'Neill added: "James loves playing and last season played when others wouldn't.

"That is why I have no concern in regard to his character and involvement with Villa."