Milner Asked For Transfer on August 20th – PFA Clarification


We are now learning more of the James Milner saga, and it turns out he did not just ask for a transfer today, but requested the move on 20th August, which was last Wednesday, but Newcastle asked the PFA to keep quiet about it.

James Milner – unhappy at contract – asked for a move last Wednesday

And we believe that Kevin Keegan and the club knew all about this over the last week, and indeed the meeting today was probably to discuss the Milner case, as some of our readers have already suggested today.

And the news that Martin O’Neil was still looking to get Milner, although it seemed absurd to most of us, shows he knew exactly what was happening too.

Only the fans were in the dark it seems.

The meeting today was to discuss general transfer requests and contracts – and it seems like Michael Owen and James Milner contracts that were at the top of the agenda.

The PFA has revealed the Newcastle winger’s recent transfer request stems from a feeling that he deserves an improved contract. We know his agent has been trying to renegotiate with the club, but it looks like Ashley is unwilling to do that, for things to reach this stage.

It’s hard for us to give an opinion on this, but we would think his contract should be on a par with Steven Taylor and Charles N’Zogbia, since they are the same age, played about the same number of games for the club, and are similar in skills and value to the club.

This also doesn’t necessarily look good for Michael Owen either, because it could be that Ashley will also stand firm on Owen’s contract.

Milner’s wish to leave St James’ Park was made public today, although PFA deputy chief executive Mick McGuire has since let it be known that the request was made a week ago on August 20.

Newcastle released a statement today that shocked Newcastle fans to the core, but it looks now like they knew all about this for about a week, and explains Kevin’s glowing appraisal of James after last night’s game, in which Milner was MOM and scored a goal and made one.

Kevin said he didn’t even want to talk about Milner leaving, and these words now have extra meaning today, and were hardly a coincidence as we summized this morning.

Milner has repeatedly been linked with a move to Villa during the current summer transfer window.

A statement was released on behalf of the PFA by McGuire this afternoon, which read:

“The PFA, who represent James Milner, are disappointed that information regarding James’ request for a move, and the circumstances surrounding it, have come to the public’s attention, and we feel we have no option but to respond,”

“The facts are that James’ transfer request was actually handed in on Wednesday August 20, at which point it was asked by Newcastle United to keep the matter private.”

“The request was given because the player was looking for an improvement on his contract that reflected his development and his value to the club. There is a meeting between the owner and all relevant people at the club today [Wednesday] when we believed James’ request was to be discussed.”

“To clarify the situation, James did sign a contract 12 months ago. However this agreement was reached with the club nearly 12 months previous at the point in which Newcastle had agreed to sell James to Aston Villa on transfer deadline day 2006 before canceling the agreement at the 11th hour.”

“Since then he has played over 80 games for Newcastle United. All James wanted was a deal that reflected his development and that was in line with Newcastle United’s transfer valuation of him.”

We have to admit that two years ago the way they called James back from Aston Villa on the evening of August 31st, after he was about to sign for the Midlands side was shameful, at best. They did it because there was a hitch in the signing of Mark Viduka from Middlebrough, who now happens to be at the club.

But push now comes to shove for the Newcastle club and Mike Ashley, and we have a good idea whose side manager Kevin Keegan will be on, and Mike had better handle this siutation very very carefully.

The last thing we want to happen is for Keegan to come to the conclusion that Ashley doesn’t have the ambition that Kevin has for the club. And we know we are not the only ones who are a little worried about Kevin, in this situation.

That really would be a disaster, so we’ll not even think about that one.

At least the situation is now a lot clearer, not that we seem to have more facts.

There are a number of ways to think about this, and some think James is just too greedy , and maybe they think the same about Michael too.

We’ll make one point – if you are not willing to pay top wages for top players – you will never become a top club.

We think Kevin Keegan is probably as upset as anybody over this, and he’s now the one we are starting to be concerned about. 🙁

After all right now Kevin is Newcastle United, and he’s handled himself like a real gentleman under trying circumstances.

But that’s Kevin for you – and that’s why Newcastle fans love the man. Mike Ashley had better be very careful what comes out of the meeting today.

And he owes the Newcastle fans a club statement on what he is going to do, and we should demand that, and it should be released today.

Comments welcome.



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269 comments so far

  • James

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #1

    I tell you what Milner you can have a pay rise of one grand a week for every assist you made over the course of last season…TWO ASSISTS! Most top class players make that per game, it took Milner a full ************ season.

    Too busy hitting the first defender!!

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  • Lew Davies

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #2

    He’s probablybeen trying to get a better deal all summer and has been stone walled by the club, so this is his respose.

    Let him go. Plenty more fish in the sea.

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  • ed speed

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #3

    good article ed.

    i think nzog is better, but milner is useful, and puts in a decent shift.

    thats football though….

    regards,
    ed

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  • 35yrsofhurt

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #4

    If this is true then there is a definate stink coming out of SJP.
    Be worried,Be very worried!!!!!

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  • ed speed

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #5

    35 years, im keeping optamistic.

    regards,
    ed

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  • toon lad

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #6

    arda turan i thought he was going to italy
    wonder what happened to the bid we put in rejected or waited to see what they get from different clubs.

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  • Spyro

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #7

    Im with MA on this, he hasn’t done anything to deserve such a rise, 2 assists is shameful and there are much better right wingers out there

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  • Lew Davies

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #8

    clear as mud ed!

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  • Will

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #9

    We were held to randsom them? That is all the PFA have clarified. The player wanted an improved contract, didn’t get it so tried blackmail us with a transfer request. The fact he wanted it private is eve more sly.

    How my opinion of James Milner has decreased over the past few hours.

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  • Will

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #10

    We were held to randsom them? That is all the PFA have clarified. The player wanted an improved contract, didn’t get it so tried blackmail us with a transfer request. The fact he wanted it private is even more sly.

    How my opinion of James Milner has decreased over the past few hours.

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  • Spyro

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #11

    Also i think we are after SWP, apparently there are four clubs after his signature

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  • Davy C

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #12

    Just read it and was about to send it to you Ed.

    If that’s the case then milner should have been offered a new contract and everyone would have been happy. I don’t understand why someone in the club has let this out as it alerts teams to the fact. The only thing I can think of is that Ashley has refused to offer more money to one of our best players and consistent performers who still has a huge future as he is constantly improving!

    If this is true shame on you Ashley.

    We are waiting for this WOW signing and don’t expect to let our best players go.

    I’m bl**dy annoyed now!

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  • beyethegreat

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #13

    dissapointed and ok iam not a footballer but how can you not be happy on 35 k

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  • TOON!

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #14

    10m is very good for milner take the money and put it towards a striker

    hopefully this will wake mike ashley up and agree to give owen whatever new contract he wants

    we need some good news tomorrow!

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  • Spyro

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #15

    Davy C what are you on about? “constantly improving”, just what has Milner improved at in the last few years?

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  • Lew Davies

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #16

    We can demand what we want from MA, but he is not obliged to say anything.

    Worrying times indeed.

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  • Alex James

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #17

    Once Chelsea finish the Robinho deal I’m sure SWP will be up for sale.

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  • Spyro

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #18

    Milner is not progressing so we should sell whilst we can get a good amount for him, simple

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  • Micky Toon

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #19

    Ed (harrison) not speed. Just what are your sources on this. You seem very sure that today’s meeting was to discuss this and Owen’s situation.
    Milner had just signed a new contract, I assume it was an improvement over his last one. Now it seems it wasn’t good enough. Talk about being tapped up. The PFA are very good at putting their point across when it suits them. How about putting an end to all this tapping up of players?

    I do agree on top wages for top players, so please show me a top player at NUFC who isn’t happy with his current wages with some evidence to back it up. Owen is ok with his money. Milner is average at best. Villa fans I know are gutted if Villa are paying 10million for him. Good business by the club, get rid.

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  • Will

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #20

    I agree with Spyro.

    When i was in th local football team, i was a winger and the first thing i got a right boll*cking for was not looking up while dribbling. Milner does this and is a premiership player?!?

    That was probably all i thought he needed to do before learning everything else through playing games and gaining experience. This wud included match practice of crossing, shooting etc.

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  • Lew Davies

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #21

    Davy c – FYI Milner has n’t really improved much over the last few years. Two assists in a season isn’t good enough.
    Now M Owen is a different case. 2 goals in 2 games coming off the bench says he is class.
    He will get an improved contract alright, but not milner. Let him go for 10Mill.
    A good deal for NUFC 😀

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  • antz1uk

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #22

    trying to call our bluff, playing games

    well i say sell him let him move to the shithole that is the midlands ans move on

    im fed up of greedy players tbh and at 22 if he cant manage on £30k a week he wants to be seein a shrink!

    i dont believe for 1 moment villa would offer him much more than that

    im with ashley here, move him on

    he’s not even that good!!

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  • Davy C

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #23

    Do you go to games Spyro? Milner was always a good player but his final ball was not always great. Now he can play in a number of positions, he tracks back and gets stuck in, he can take men on, he beats men the way Robert Lee used to and just needs a yard to get a good cross in, his work rate is superb, Keegan himself said last night that he should be in the full England squad on his ability and attitude.

    You are the one who doesn’t know what he’s talking about!

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  • Spyro

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #24

    Imagine this

    Modric is on 35k at Spurs

    Milner is on 45k at NUFC…would that make sense? no

    Adebayor was on 35k, and then went on to score around 25 goals for his club. He then got a new contract.

    Milner is on 35k, gets 2 assists and then demands a new contract?

    …Ridiculous isn’t it? If we ever want to be in the driving seat when handling negotiations we need to stick to our guns on this one. He hasn’t earned a new contract, he simply expects it.

    Get your coat James

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  • wayne

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #25

    do we think aston villa or lfc for milner at 10 mil? or if he is offered better contract will he stay

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  • Waddle's mullet

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #26

    Shaun Wright phillips any one??

    I think he is on his way.

    Expect an anouncement tonight!!

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  • 35yrsofhurt

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #27

    Ed Speed,
    Be Optimistic, Be very Optimistic.
    Rergards

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  • Desmond - DesmondBlog.com

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #28

    Oh crap. Not another one. First Owen, now Milner. And that’s two of our best players.

    Unless we can get players like Lennon (since Spurs got Bentley in their squad) or SWP, it’s no point selling Milner.

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  • Graham

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #29

    A couple of thoughts from someone who doesn’t claim to now loads about football (me)

    1. If Milner has done this just to get a pay rise, call his bluff and flog him to Villa. With the £9m or so we would get a far better and accomplished footballer than James.

    2. Having the record for getting the most under 21 caps isn’t a fantastic thing. A decent player but not good enough to progress.

    3. This is nothing like the Owen situation. Owens contract needs sorting as he is ending the end of his current one – Milner has 2 years left at least of a contract he was happy to sign 12 months ago. Also, Owen is world class, Milner isn’t and never will be.

    4. Even with 50000 fans behind me I reckon I could get a corner past the first defender at least once in 90 minutes – but then again, I don’t know everything about football.

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  • Spyro

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #30

    KK aint the England manager though is he?

    If he was good enough he would have caught Capello’s eye. He hasn’t and is still playing at u-21 level. Speaks volumes.

    He doesn’t beat the fullbacks anywhere near enough and he doesnt put decent crosses in so what are YOU on about. Blind praise.

    His work rate is good and he can shoot with both feet, thats as far as his ability goes really.

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  • GM

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #31

    @ Will – comment 9 it was Newcastle that wanted his request to be kept quiet not milner..

    ….at which point it was asked by Newcastle United to keep the matter private.”

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  • Davy C

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #32

    Lew Davies

    You cannot spout stats about players wihout seeing what they do. The fact that he has two assists doesn’t show that he breaks down defences, doesn’t show that he may have done the ground work to create a goal, doesn’t show what a great player he has become and will get better.

    You read your stats and I’ll go to the games and watch them play.

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  • Graham

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #33

    And why is everyone worried about the future just because Milner apparently wants to leave?

    Be worried my arse! he just wants more cash!

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  • ashleys wallets cobwebs

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #34

    i like milner , but he has a contract and if man utd did not feel that ronaldo should get a pay rise albeit already on 100k a week when real came knocking then why should he have one ? ronaldo scored 42 goals last season, milner did not cross the ball 42 times, i think he has a chance at being a top player ,but at this moment that is all it is a chance, and if he wants to go to villa for the money then, thats fine , but he will regret it at the end of his career, and as many people have said swp is available for the same money, but im with the club on this one.

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  • Graham

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #35

    Well said Spyro

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  • Davy C

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #36

    Kevin Keegan doesn’t want him to go and rates him highly. I’ll take his opinion over any of you statto lot anyday.

    Don’t make me laugh!

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  • ToonDaft

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #37

    totally agree with you Spyro, he is just expecting a new contract rather than showing us he is worth is – i’m sorry, but whilst stats can be deceiving and should be treat with care, these ones are so matter-of-fact it is scary – 3 goals and 2 assists in nearly 40 games – come on!!!

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  • Spyro

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #38

    Breaking down defences? WHAT!? He occassionally beats a player and then wastes the opportunity to cross to one of our striker by not looking up, but instead does a couple more step overs. Even when he does cross early it rarely reaches one of our players.

    Look to our other wing and we have Jonas, at the very LEAST 2x the player Milner is. We got him for cheap, and at most he was valued around the 10million mark, If that sort of quality is around at a fair price why should we persist with Milner who is not progressing?

    Sell him now and put the cash to better use

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  • Cooper

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #39

    id only let him go providing we sign a more than suitable replacement.

    worse case situation would be letting milner go and not bringing in another midfielder – we are already short in that area

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  • Gallowgate31

    Aug 27, 2008 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #40

    I said to wor lass whilst watching the match that if we can get Arda in I would let Milner go, she couldn’t believe it ! It is a shame as he is a really hard working player ( probably the best we had last season ),
    but his crossing is awful !

    So much promise but as has been said he is not really improving, get Arda and let him go to Vile……..

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