Villa want Ireland plus cash in exchange for £25m Milner

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The Independent Online

James Milner's move from Aston Villa to Manchester City is a "done deal", but Martin O'Neill is holding out for at least £25m, The Independent on Sunday understands.

An impeccable source said that the Villa manager would hold out for every penny he could get for the England midfielder but that O'Neill would be interested in a player-plus-cash deal, with City's Stephen Ireland of particular interest.

The City centre-half Nedum Onuoha has also been linked with a switch to Villa Park as City's spending spree means academy products such as Ireland, Onuoha and Michael Johnson could be surplus to requirements.

Chelsea will start the defence of their Premier League title without Didier Drogba after he underwent groin surgery. He is expected to return to training just as the season starts, but the champions have what looks like a comfortable start to the campaign against West Bromwich, Wigan, Stoke and West Ham before their European adventure begins.

On the pitch yesterday Jermaine Beckford, brought in from Leeds, scored twice as Everton won 3-0 at the manager David Moyes's former club, Preston, with Louis Saha adding the other. Another new signing, Magaye Gueye, impressed in midfield.

Everton's next pre-season outing is against the Championship side Norwich, who enjoyed a promising 2-1 home win over Newcastle United. Chris Martin claimed both their goals, with Xisco crossing for Shola Ameobi to score for the promoted Newcastle.

Tuncay Sanli scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win for Stoke City as Tony Pulis sent out a strong team to build fitness in their traditional pre-season match at Newcastle Town.

Birmingham City made it a hat-trick of wins on their tour of China when they won 2-0 in the final game against Liaoning. Garry O'Connor scored to give him a goal in each of the games.

Brazil have named their new coach to rebuild the squad after their disappointing World Cup showing led to the sacking of Dunga. They chose the 48-year-old Corinthians coach Mano Menezes, a specialist in leading big clubs out of the doldrums who is little-known outside his own country.

What's happening at your top-flight club?

Arsenal: Key signings: Marouane Chamakh (Bordeaux, free), Laurent Koscielny (Lorient, £10m).

In the pipeline: Mark Schwarzer, Loïc Rémy (Nice).

What they need: A centre-back and a proven goalkeeper.

Aston Villa: Key signings: Martin O'Neill still to open the cheque book.

In the pipeline: Aiden McGeady, Robbie Keane.

What they need: Additions to squad.

Birmingham City: Key signings: Ben Foster (Man Utd, £6m), Nikola Zigic (Valencia, £6m).

In the pipeline: Moussa Dembélé (AZ Alkmaar), Charles N'Zogbia.

What they need: An attacking midfielder to feed towering Zigic.

Blackburn Rovers: Key signing:Hugo Fernandez (Union Deportivo).

In the pipeline: Guti, James Beattie.

What they need: A centre-forward.

Blackpool: Key signing: Dekel Keinan (Maccabi Haifa, free).

In the pipeline: Francis Jeffers, DJ Campbell.

What they need: Experience.

Bolton Wanderers: Key signings: Martin Petrov (Man City) and Robbie Blake (Burnley, both free).

In the pipeline: Jack Wilshire (loan), David Nugent.

What they need: A striker and a quality defender.

Chelsea: Key signings: Yossi Benayoun (Liverpool, £5.5m) and Matej Delac (Inter Zapresic, £2.7m).

In the pipeline: Ramires, David Luiz (both Benfica), Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen).

What they need: Exciting youngsters.

Everton: Key signings: Jermaine Beckford (Leeds, free), Joao Silva (Desportivo Das Aves, undisclosed) and Magaye Gueye (Strasbourg, £900,000)

In the pipeline: Yannick Djalo (Sporting Lisbon), Nedum Onuoha.

What they need: Landon Donovan.

Fulham: Key signings: Jonathan Greening (West Bromwich), Philippe Senderos (Arsenal, both free).

In the pipeline: Sven Goran Eriksson, Dave Jones.

What they need: A new manager to buy a midfielder and a striker.

Liverpool: Key signings: Joe Cole (below, free), Milan Jovanic (Standard Liège, free), Danny Wilson (Rangers, £5m).

In the pipeline: Wayne Bridge.

What they need: A left-back and cover in midfield and attack.

Manchester City: Key signings: Yaya Touré (Barcelona, £28m), David Silva (Valencia, £25m), Jérôme Boateng (Hamburg, £11m), Aleksandar Kolarov (Lazio, £19m).

In the pipeline: James Milner, Mario Balotelli, Landon Donovan.

What they need: A lethal finisher.

Manchester United: Key signings: Javier Hernandez (Chivas, £6m), Chris Smalling (Fulham, £10m).

In the pipeline: Steven Defour (Standard Liège), Mario Balotelli.

What they need: A solid right-back.

Newcastle United: Key signing: James Perch (Nottm Forest, £1.5m), Dan Gosling (Everton, free).

In the pipeline: Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield).

What they need: A couple of defenders and a striker.

Stoke City: Key signings: Florent Cuvelier (Portsmouth), Carlo Nash

In the pipeline: Mamadou Samassa (Marseille), Gary O'Neill.

What they need: A quick forward and a tough-tackling midfielder.

Sunderland: Key signings: Cristian Riveros (Cruz Azul, undisclosed), Titus Bramble (Wigan, £1m), Marcos Angeleri (Estudiantes, undisclosed).

In the pipeline: Sol Campbell.

What they need: Tough midfielder.

Tottenham Hotspur: Key signing: Sandro (Internacional, £6m).

In the pipeline: Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Craig Bellamy.

What they need: A top midfielder.

West Bromwich Albion: Key signings: Steven Reid (Blackburn), Pablo Ibañez (Atletico Madrid, free), Gabriel Tamas (Auxerre, £800,000).

In the pipeline: David N'gog, James Beattie.

What they need: About six players.

West Ham United: Key signings: Thomas Hitzlsperger (Lazio, free), Pablo Barrera (UNAM Pumas, £4m), Frédéric Piquonne (Lyon, £1m).

In the pipeline: Loïc Rémy (Nice), Chris Weale (Leicester).

What they need: Full-backs, midfielders, back-up goalkeeper.

Wigan Athletic: Key signings: Mauro Boselli (Estudiantes, £6m), Antolin Alcaraz (Club Brugge, undisclosed), James McArthur (Hamilton, £500,000).

In the pipeline: Mikaël Silvestre.

What they need: A goalscorer.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Key signings: Steven Fletcher (Burnley, £6.5m), Stephen Hunt (Hull, £3m), Steven Mouyokolo (Hull, £2.5m), Jelle van Damme (Anderlecht, £2.5m).

In the pipeline: Benjani.

What they need: A good midfielder.