Milner £28M Transfer Good News Bad News For Newcastle

Manchester City and Aston Villa are reported to be very close to agreeing a £28M deal for England and former Newcastle United midfielder James Milner.

James Milner – while at Newcastle for four years

The news today is that the 24-year-old Leeds-born player is expected to agree a five year deal at Manchester City, which is said to be worth around £80K a week.

Newcastle bought James from Leeds United, when he was just 18 years old during Bobby Robson’s wonderful days at Newcastle, back in the summer of 2004 – the initial fee for James being around £3.6M.

Newcastle made Milner into a Premier-class player and he was one of Kevin Keegan’s favorites back in 2008, as Kevin could always spot a top player in the making.

But then Aston Villa came along in August of 2008, and when they offered what seemed at the time to be a ridiculous fee of £12M for the lad, Newcastle took it, even though it was dead against Keegan’s wishes.

But now 22 months later the lad is worth £28M in the transfer market – at least to Manchester City – and because Newcastle will get no sell-on money we will get nothing from this transfer even though Villa will make a £16M profit on James in less than two years.

That’s almost criminal neglect by whoever arranged James Milner’s transfer for Newcastle – we think it was Dennis Wise.

So there could be some re-evaluation as to whether £12M was in fact5 a good deal for Newcastle, less than two years ago for the now full England International player.

We are bringing this up because we are a a little concerned that if big money offers came in right now for Andy Carroll, Steven Taylor and some of our other top youngsters – we’d take the money and run.

But the truth is the longer we can keep these lads at Newcastle, it’s not only good for the playing side of things at the club, but their transfer values will also keep increasing, as we have seen with James. who was always a great lad when at the Magpies.

We think Newcastle now have some top-class youngsters on Tyneside, and they will be worth big money in a few years time, and it may be that the club will need to sell one or two of them,  to help balance the books.

But it seems to us that if the burgeoning Newcastle Youth policy continues to be successful, we have to believe Newcastle will be well off – not only on the field of play – but also on the financial side of things.

Newcastle should take the James Milner episode as an example of what can happen if the club let Carroll or Steven Taylor leave Tyneside prematurely, or even young 17 year-old Slovenian midfielder Haris Vuckic, who is also attracting attention.

We really want these players playing at Newcastle and  maybe it doesn’t take big transfer players coming into Newcastle,  for the famous Tyneside club to become a successful side in the future.

What a great thought  that is!

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

40 comments so far

  • Ezedoesit

    Jun 10, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #1

    It was such a stupid deal! Really who amongst us didn’t know Milner was gonna get better. We should never have to get through that again unless stupid money (£28 million) is thrown at us!

  • baro

    Jun 10, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #2

    Very stupid for selling him for 12 million. Where did the money go? Up Mike Ashleys as$. We could of got that 28 million. What I dont get about this Newcastle club. Is that if a big offer comes for one of you stars than he is gone. Just like that. I would rather keep winning than gain that money. Because the more wins is the more money you will get.

  • euanpolo

    Jun 10, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #3

    At the time I think £12m was a good price to get for him. Although he was great at Newcastle he has also come on a lot at Villa, and if Man City weren’t around nobody would be paying such an excessive fee for him. Is a very good player but no other club in the world would pay that much for him.

  • Howay The Lads

    Jun 10, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #4

    At the time I thought it was a stupid thing to do. He wanted to leave you could tell because he always praised O’Neill and said he loved his time at Villa, but t0 sell for that amount was a joke. At first it was reported (or at least I heard) he had been sold for £16 mil, which I thought was about right and could take, but when I found out it was £12 mil I was pissed

  • Hugh G Hampton

    Jun 10, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #5

    “That’s almost criminal neglect by whoever arranged James Milner’s transfer for Newcastle – we think it was Dennis Wise.”

    As expected, WE dont know the facts and are just speculating and rewording stories that WE have pinched from the press.

    You clown!

  • eltoro

    Jun 10, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #6

    No one could have imagined that he would demand a 28mil fee and 12mil still must be seen as a decent price.

    He’d never have been worth 28mil playing for Newcastle – the best we could hope is that his presence on the right wing would have kept us up but then we would still be scrapping around the bottom. And we can’t hold out for silly money like Villa can. And it is of course sill money when Torres, one of the best players in the world cost the same.

    And even talk of a sell on fee is nonsense. We negotiated a good deal at 12mil. Villa offered 8mil to start with and even with a 20% sell on fee the total would only come to 13.6mil.

    The Given deal was criminal – 6mil for one of the best keepers in the world to the richest teamin the world. And that transfer probably contributed more to our relegation.

  • Howay The Lads

    Jun 10, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #7

    Hugh, taking into context that two days before he was sold Keegan said he wouldn’t sell Milner for £40 million (or whatever it was) then I think it’s fair to assume it was Wise who sold him.

  • Markaccus

    Jun 10, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #8

    So where exactly is the “good news” bit??

  • coxonfamily

    Jun 10, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #9

    Just makes me laugh that all we ever hear from Cashley and co. is how badly run the club was before they came, and how we never made the most of our potential on the financial side…. Yes, thats the same Cashely and co. who never thought to put a Sell On Clause into this deal, and how many others?

    Even kids playing on Football Manager games know you put a sell on clause into transfers lol

  • boater

    Jun 10, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #10

    Hindsight, hindsight eh. 12mil for a winger that can’t run at pace or cross remains one of the best bits of business we have done in years. He is the dish du jour for his admirable attitude but I still say n’zogbia was a bigger loss.

    28mil tells you all you need to know about the ludicrous market for younger english players.

    Hype aside, hand on heart Guthrie and Routledge could may have the edge on milner next season, in terms of their technical attributes and reading of the game.

  • Captain Beefheart

    Jun 10, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #11

    I feel sorry for City fans, as much as one can, as they truly ARE going to do a Leeds…. This is utterly stupid money which distorts valuations everywhere else; and it’s MCFC (the club) that will have to pick up the tab when the owners get bored with pouring money down a bottomless well and sell.

    There’s no way they can sustain this level of spending and survive, and there’s no way anyone else can afford to take the club on with it’s current wage bill and overvalued assets.

    Fantasy football which will only end in sky blue tears.

    Truly, I would rather be where we are.

  • Wallsend Will

    Jun 10, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #12

    From Press Archives – 29 Aug 2008

    James Milner completed a club-record £12million move to Aston Villa and revealed he was driven to leave Newcastle because he felt undervalued.
    And Milner, who came close to signing for Villa two years ago has revealed he thought Villa boss Martin O’Neill was joking back in 2006 when he said the deal was off, after Newcastle pulled the plug at the last minute.
    Recently Milner became frustrated at Newcastle’s failure to offer him a new contract which he felt would reflect his worth, and handed in a transfer request last week.
    Villa moved swiftly to agree a fee for the England Under-21 winger who has signed a four-year contract which ties him to his new club until the end of the 2011-2012 campaign.

    Milner spent the 2005-2006 season on loan to Villa from Newcastle and was about to sign for them in August 2006 before Newcastle halted the transfer.
    Milner said: “I nearly signed two years ago. That was a tough time for me and Villa as well. It obviously threw their plans into turmoil.

    “You learn from that and you move on and, two years later, I am sure I am a stronger character and a better player for those experiences. “The fee had been agreed. I came down here to the training ground and got into the manager’s office and he said he had a phone call to say Newcastle had changed their mind. “At first I didn’t know if it was the manager’s humour and whether he was joking with me but it wasn’t a joke.”
    Milner added: “I enjoyed every minute at Newcastle. It was a fantastic club. I enjoyed working with the manager and they are a great bunch of lads. But I knew offers had come in over the summer and the club had turned them down and the valuation of me wasn’t reflected in the deal I was on.

    “Speaking to them, I felt it was the right thing to put in a transfer request to show how I felt, seeing as they didn’t think they were on the same wavelength as me and they then made the decision to sell me.

    “It was Newcastle’s decision and now I am at Aston Villa. A new contract was never discussed. That was a source of frustration.”

    O’Neill has now spent £48million in the transfer market this summer after finally signing Milner.

    Milner paid tribute to Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan who wanted to keep hold of the services of the former Leeds player. He said: “He has been fantastic with me all the way through. I had a great relationship with him, learnt a lot and wish him every luck. “We talked a few times and last night, once the fee had been agreed, he wished me every luck in the world and that is it basically. “Things change quickly in football. All I know is the offer has been accepted and I’m a Villa player now and the Newcastle chapter is ended.”

  • flair20

    Jun 10, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #13

    Mike Ashley WAS going to put a sell-on clause into Milner’s transfer to Villa but then negotiated a higher price instead. If anyone had told me at the time that Milner would go on to be sold for £28m, I would have laughed my tits off. He is massively over-rated – for all his versatility and diligence, he lacks pace and product. Besides, as someone mentioned above, he would never have been worth that much if he’d stayed at Newcastle – especially since we’re not in a position to hold out for £28m. Man City know that Villa have a wealthy owner, just like they know (and knew when they signed Given) that we have no money. Getting £12m at the time was good business in my opinion.

    P.S. @eltoro – in my opinion, to say that selling Given was a major factor in our relegation is massively disrespectful to what a good goalkeeper Steve Harper is.

  • boater

    Jun 10, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #14

    Flair20 – true Given, plus hadn’t we dropped into a relegation (or was it one off) position after the liverpool 5-1 annihilation that prompted given’s transfer request anyway?

  • flair20

    Jun 10, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #15

    @boater – you may be right. Either way, I think it was obvious we were only headed in one direction by that stage. The negativity at the club was like a disease – we had Leeds syndrome and no goalkeeper in the world could have kept us up.

  • eltoro

    Jun 10, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #16

    Flair20 and boater –
    Fair enough. But I think Given was a more important part of the dressing room as well – another long servant who always seemed like he loved the club and the fans and so when he felt he had to leave it was very clear that the club was on its way down.
    I didn’t mean to be disrespectful to Harper at all.

  • Solaidback

    Jun 10, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #17

    Funny but yesterday I got slated for saying £12m was a good deal at the time for Milner all because he’s being sold for £28m now…. Well we sold Zogs for £9m I think & now he wants a move from Wigan & think that his value is too high, so in hindsight, £12m was a great deal, how were we to know 18 months ago that Milner would come on the way he has & Zogs would go backwards!!!

    We’ve always sold our best players for less than they’re worth, just because who ever is in charge is more interested in making money than holding out for a decent price, we did it with Given too & we’ll do it again, most likely with Carroll, Taylor or whoever else we gets an offer on… its the nature of the beast which is Newcastle!!

  • jimiley

    Jun 10, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #18

    I hate Ashley but 12 million for Milner was a good deal. 28 million for a player who cannot cross and lacks pace and does not score enough goals is crazy money. I cannot blame MA for that. Citee must have money to burn. Routledge is a better player. Its mind boggling that any club would pay that sort of money for him. Unbelievable.

  • Mag 48

    Jun 10, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #19

    Mcdonald~Beardsley~ Gazza~ Waddle~ Mcdermot~Cole etc etc…

  • rwpoynter

    Jun 10, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #20

    Captain Beefheart is right. Stupid money for players by two or three clubs. Who would buy Chelsea when Roman tires of it. No one wanted us last year. Maybe Ashley is right, lets bring on the young players, but keep them. On 22nd August 2008, I was buoyant about Newcastles chances and saw them at Coventry in the Carling Cup. They looked good and the best three on the park were Milner, N’Zogbia and Given. By Thursday Milner was at Aston Villa, and the following Tuesday Keegan walked out. Within six months N’Zogbia and Given had gone by sheer frustration. Thank goodness we had Harper. All these were bad management decisions probably as a result of the history of this club in recent years. The answer is to bring on the young players and never pay stupid money again. Incidentally it seems the Premier Clubs have signed 19 players and shed 31 so far(including Joe Cole and Michael Ballack) so maybe the penny is beginning to drop across the board (except Man City of course).

  • MacToon

    Jun 10, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #21

    Over-priced imo but if Citeh are willing to pay stupid money for better than average players (not world class imo) then that’s their choice.

    I notice the “play 6 home grown players” idea has been scrapped today, maybe that was in Citeh’s minds lol…. Johnson or the left and Milner on the right, I know which player I’d rather have and it wouldn’t be Milner.

    Harping on about … sell on clause… is a non starter because £12 mil was a good price for him at the time IMHO and has already been said by others on here!

  • baro

    Jun 10, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #22


    Are you freeken serious??????? Wayne Routledge is not even close to what James Milner is. Only thing Routledge is better at is he has more speed. Milner has speed and a terrific long shot, cross, free kick. Your out of your mind.

  • Toon1978

    Jun 10, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    Comment #23

    Ashley seen pound signs and sold at the first hurdle. What will happen when we receive bids for Vuckic and Carroll and also Taylor. Any decent offer for any of our better players and Ashley will sell. Milner, N’Zogbia and Bassong are perfect examples all players who are now becoming big players in the EPL. Imagine the position we would of been in had we kept those players. Cheers Mr Ashley top appreciation to the Toon faithful who fill the ground week in week out. Top fans fed sh1te.

  • Howay The Lads

    Jun 10, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    Comment #24

    baro, completely agree, but Milner doesn’t have speed, he’s not slow, but you defo wouldn’t say he’s quick.

  • Toon1978

    Jun 10, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #25

    Milner will be up there woth the Gerrards and Lampards of this world in the next season or two. Good old NUFC sold him. West ham are similar. They brought through J’Cole, Lampard,G.Johnson,R.Ferdinand,M.Carrick, just to name a few and they sold all of them. Under Ashley i believe we will be the same, a feeder club. Ashley is all for the youth only to sell them on at a huge profic and to hell with the loyal fans.

  • flair20

    Jun 10, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #26

    A lot of you are criticising Ashley for accepting the first offer he gets for players, e.g. Given and Milner. Are you forgetting that these players handed in transfer requests?

  • Charlietoon

    Jun 10, 2010 at 11:07 PM

    Comment #27

    This article gives me the sh1tes.

    We didn’t turn Milner into a premiership player. He was decent with us but none of our seven managers recognised that he would be better in central midfield and took the risk. They stuck with Smith…..

    Villa did and turned him into a 20 mill player….28 for Man C. Thats kudos to Villa.

    We took 12 mill instead of 8 mill plus sell on. Not one person would have expected him to fetch 28 mill for a bench warming spot, so unless we had a 25% sell on fee we would not have made any more money.

    I have defended this blog for a while but all this hard done by and shoulda coulda woulda stuff is just not necessary. We are on the way up…why look back too a decision made two years ago and wonder why or why???

  • Toon_Ksk

    Jun 11, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    Comment #28

    Villa turned Milner into a world-class player. Keegan would have done that given more time, but he walked out. In any case, it is with Villa that Milner performed well and even if he is sold for a billion pounds, credit goes to Villa and they deserved that huge transfer payout.

    NUFC can only have themselves to blame for failing to bring out the potential of Milner.

  • Sav

    Jun 11, 2010 at 3:13 AM

    Comment #29

    Charlietoon is right to the extent Villa did develop Milner further than us.
    But it beats me how anyone can call 12 million for him a good deal when the club then goes and blows more than half of his fee on a Spanish waiter to do a favour for some S. American mafia. Milner and Xisco do not bear comparison, so what good is 12 million now?

  • alan shearer

    Jun 11, 2010 at 7:05 AM

    Comment #30

    dusko tosic anyone?

  • alan shearer

    Jun 11, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    Comment #31

    jaynufc89..if ure true..pls come out and explain things clearly..the way u say is min..wheater and boyd min petrov..erm…its abit..hard to believe..

  • phillips123

    Jun 11, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #32

    BREAKING NEWS………………..

    Newcastle have signed Chris Cohen and James Pearch from Nottingham Forrest.

    Hear it here first people…. 2 great young players

  • MacToon

    Jun 11, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #33

    Apparantly we had a bid for Perch rejected in Jan.

  • DanNUFC

    Jun 11, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #34

    phillips123 where did you hear that?

  • G

    Jun 11, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #35

    Hmmm… I smell a little bit of ‘jay’ on post 32?

  • lesh

    Jun 11, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #36

    C’mon Ed, be fair. Most thought that £12m was a better than expected price for Milner and suppose we’d pushed for a sell-on clause then the base fee would’ve been lower.

    Now, just suppose we’d got a lower fee with a contracted sell-on with a sell on clause and Milner had failed to improve and wasn’t sold on at a premium?.

    We can’t always have it all ways Ed….. A bird in the hand etc?

    Possible good news if he goes to Citeh, could that make Ireland surplus to requirements?

  • Sav

    Jun 11, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #37

    “But it seems to us that if the burgeoning Newcastle Youth policy continues to be successful, we have to believe Newcastle will be well off – not only on the field of play – but also on the financial side of things.”
    Youth policy??
    We have Joe Joyce in charge and that’s it.
    We’d do a lot better to hand over the academy to Wallsend Boys’ Club.
    Imagine for a minute that a club comes along looking to take on your 12 year old. What’s the first Q. you’re going to ask, if not: ‘Who is going to be looking after him?’
    Sorry, Ed, but youth policy me’arse. Ashley and Llambias are two people at the root of everything at Newcastle and they are 2 who know the price of everything and the value of nowt.

  • geordielad880

    Jun 11, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #38

    phillips123- what a load of rubbish, its just more made up stories, we are not going to sign anyone in the next few weeks, so I wouldnt even bother listening to any rumours

  • lesh

    Jun 11, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #39

    alan shearer // Jun 11, 2010 at 7:05 AM

    dusko tosic anyone?

    Yes please Mr Shearer…. a large one, lots of ice and a twist of lemon!

  • ronaldeano

    Jun 11, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #40

    Milners value went up because O,Neil played him in the middle at villa… his best position. He was played as a winger at Nufc and he never had the chance to show what he can do playing there.
    Its like Shwainstiger (if thats how its spelt!) at Bayern, since he was put in the middle of the park he has gone from a slow, mediocre winger to being one of the best CM’s in the world.
    If we had a manager that could see the fact that Milner was an AM and played him there, we wouldent have been relegated imo


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