The Daily Mirror is reporting today that James Milner is demanding a pay-rise, to secure his long-term future at Newcastle United.
Â James Milner – looking for a pay rise (who isn’t?)
The England Under-21 winger wants to be part of Kevin Keegan’s plans for the future, but it’s being reported he is currently one of the lowest paid first team regulars at the Tyneside club.
We heard similar stories during the summer, and his agent wanted to renegotiate the Leeds-born player’s contract.Â Milner did sign an extended four year deal less than a year ago, but his agent is reported to have approached the Tyneside club for talks, a couple of months ago.
James holds the record for the most number of England Under-21 appearances (36 and counting), but has yet to win his first full England cap, and he played in 32 games for Newcastle last season.
Newcastle’s wish to cut their Â£72M wage bill, and tighten the financial strings at the club, will put his contract negotiations on hold a little, until later this summer.
A source close to James said:
“James is just after parity with other players.”
“He has spent time one on one with Kevin Keegan and is excited by working with him.”
“He loves the place and doesn’t want to leave but there are market values.”
We don’t think this news is very alarming, but James may have to be a little patient while the club completes delicate contract negotiations with Steve Harper and captain Michael Owen.
If he is one of the lowest paid first teamers at the club, he should be given an improved contract – similar to the one young Steven Taylor was given a couple of weeks back.Â As it turns out, both players were born in January 1986, with James 19 days older than Steven.
The Newcastle club have had no problems in giving good deals to those players that produce at the club, and James fits into that category.
Young Milner will get a lot better playing under Kevin Keegan, and he already seems to know that – a sensible lad indeed.
It’s also pleasing James wants to stay at the club, and be part of Keegan’s revival, that hopefully will bring Newcastle United back from the wilderness, as a major force again in English football.
We are all hoping (and praying) that will be the case in the next couple of seasons, but it will not be easy, given how much the club has fallen back in the last couple of seasons.
We think James is a great lad to have at the club.