Wigan make £4m bid for Milner

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The Independent Online

Wigan Athletic are to offer up to £4m for Newcastle's James Milner. It had been expected that the winger would join Aston Villa, where he was on loan last season, but it is understood that their offer falls far short of the valuation put on the 20-year-old.

Villa's manager, David O'Leary, has made no secret of his desire to sign the England under-21 international permanently, but is unlikely to be able to match Wigan's bid. Despite their interest, however, they may struggle to sign the winger as he is unsure whether to leave St James' Park and will hold more talks with the manager, Glenn Roeder, when he returns from holiday. Newcastle are in the hunt to sign Fulham's Steed Malbranque, who is on the transfer list after refusing to sign a new contract.

The Wigan manager, Paul Jewell, who is in Germany as a pundit for the BBC, has already said he expects a busy summer. He is bidding for Birmingham's Emile Heskey and is interested in Ajax midfielder Denny Landzaat, and the club are close to agreeing a loan deal to take the Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, who has just completed a loan spell at West Brom.

The Iceland international Eidur Gudjohnsen has moved from Chelsea to Barcelona for £8m, while Everton have completed the signing of the Wolves defender Joleon Lescott.

The striker Michael Chopra has signed for Cardiff and may be joined by the Barnsley midfielder Stephen McPhail.

The Sunderland chairman Bob Murray is to stand downand will end his 20-year spell in charge on 30 June, although it is understood he will remain on the board while takeover talks continue with Niall Quinn's consortium. Leroy Rosenoir has been named Brentford's new manager.

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