It doesn’t looks too good this morning, and it may even be that Kevin Keegan has lost his fight to keep James Milner, after Kevin was in lengthy talks with owner Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias yesterday.
Kevin Keegan – seems to have lost his fight to keep Milner
It seems thet Newcastle manager had wanted two things on the contract front at yesterday’s meeting. The biggest one was to get Ashley to give a new contract to Michael Owen, his captain, who has been outstanding in the two cameo appearances he’s made this season.
The second objective, and probably the reason the meeting was called in the first place, was to keep James Milner, after he asked for a transfer a week yesterday..
But the fact that Newcastle issued a statement yesterday around mid-day saying that Milner had asked for a transfer (he asked for it on 20th August), which completely shocked the Newcastle fans, suggests Ashley will not give in to the wage demands of the 22 year-old.
There was an agreement with Milner’s representatives from the PFA and the Newcastle club itself, to keep the request a secret, but surely the best case scenario and why the transfer was being kept secret, was to potentially agree a deal yesterday, so the fact he had asked for a transfer didn’t have to be revealed.
The secrecy request was made by Newcastle United, as was angrily stated yesterday by Mick McGuire, from the PFA, who is representing James.
Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill, has been a long time admirer of the youngster, and news yesterday is that Villa will make an increased £10M offer for the player, with Liverpool also potentially interested, although £10M may be higher than their own valuation.
News being reported by the Daily Mail said that Kevin met immediately with Derek Llambias, after the fabulous Coventry Cup tie, and was not in a good mood after the meeting.
We suspect he may have been told the bad news about Milner, (and maybe about Owen), but that is just speculation.
But we did report yesterday that Kevin said:
“I haven’t got enough players and my optimism gets less the nearer that you get to the deadline.”
“I’m still hoping that we’ll get a couple in, but if we don’t, we’ll just have to soldier on.”
And he also talked about Michael Owen and appeared frustrated when he said:
“I am not trying to be awkward. Michael is a very special player. He is very important to this club and my vision for it.”
“If other people do not share that, it is their problem. I do not say these things publicly for any other reason than I believe it.”
It appears Newcastle have already turned down £8M from Villa for Milner, and we think Newcastle are ready to now accept a £10M bid, with Gareth Barry further boosting the Villa fans, when he pledged to stay at the club yesterday.
But we are more worried about things now with our manager Kevin Keegan, than just Owen and Milner.
If both players are not offered improved contracts, or contracts that will see them want to stay at Newcastle, we are concerned that Kevin Keegan will not only lose two of his key players, but he will begin to see the light.
That light is that Ashley does not share the same ambition as Kevin, and we know Keegan will not want to work in an environment of too much penny pinching – not when it results in two of your best players, by your own admission, being allowed to move on.
Aren’t we trying to build a good team at Newcastle?
If we put ourselves in Kevin’s current position we’d hardly be happy about the situation.
That’s our early reading of the news from yesterday, and for the good of the team, we have to hope we are just dead wrong. 🙁