Derek Llambias has talked today about the sale of James Milner to Aston Villa, which probably initiated Kevin Keegan’s departure from Newcastle, when Aston Villa paid an amazing £12M for his services.
James Milner – head turned by Aston Villa
Llambias told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today:
“We didn’t want to lose James Milner.” “Realistically, he was only worth £6M according to people on our football side.”
“Mike’s reasoning was that Villa would never pay £12M.” “But Villa went on and on and on, it got to 10 and we stuck to 12 because we didn’t want to lose him.”
“At the end of the day I sat here with Milner and his head was turned, he’d played for Villa before and he wanted to go.”
“We are not a selling club. We’re a buying club.”
What Derek doesn’t explain here is that Milner wanted a new contract at the Tyneside club, and that was brought up continually during last summer, by his agent. So we may have been able to stop his roaming ways with an improved contract.
But at the end Milner turned in a transfer request, much like Shay did a couple of weeks ago, and once that happens there’s not much the club can do.
But not many would disagree that £12M was a good deal for Newcastle for James, but we got just 80% of that fee, (£9.6M)and 20% (£2.4M) went to Leeds United as part of a sell-on clause agreed when Milner joined us from Leeds, in 2004, for around £3M.
It will not have gone unnoticed that James Milner is now in the full England Squad and Shay Given is being referred to as a world-class goalkeeper at Eastlands – give us a break!