The game has gone mad I tell ya; £24mn for Lescott and only £20mn for James Milner? Doesn't matter, it won't be £20mn when the deal is done, but come to terms with it sooner rather than later; the deal will be done.
I write that, if it is actually true that Manchester City have made a bid. They don't have to tell their supporters what they are doing and our club don't have to tell us anything either.
Neither club has any legal obligation to tell us anything and they won't, even if a bid is sitting on the boardroom table, to quote Sky Sports.
But, the truth of the matter is, if they have made a bid, Milner is probably keen to go. Do you think they are doing all this, if they are doing it, on the back of wanting to speak to him first? No. Chances are they have spoken and chances are they have told him what he will earn and chances are this deal will be done very soon.
However, chances are it will play out as I wrote it would the other day. O'Neill will likely refuse the offer, if it has been made and when they ask what we value him at, the value will be high and then negotiations can start.
Now, it is all speculation, so there might not be an offer on the table, but Sky Sports are confident there is, so chances are there is. As for O'Neill wondering why all this speculation happens every transfer window; if they told us now there wasn't a bid, we'd believe them but them not telling us anything, does sort of suggest there is.
It will be sad to see Milner go, but if we can get £20mn plus a player or two it will be good business and as long as that money is reinvested into the team and not as management fees, then it will all be good.
As for the fee; Lescott was a freak purchase and it was done because Mark Hughes was, well Mark Hughes, but if we get £25mn for Milner, straight cash, it would be excellent business. After all, look what David Villa went for and with all the love and respect in the world, Milner wouldn't get in the same team as David Villa.
Recent quotes about James Milner
Randy Lerner talking about James Milner last week
I'm not worried about losing James Milner. I think James will play for Aston Villa and should play for Aston Villa. I'm not dismissive of the realities that a player that has received the attention and acclaim of James is going to spark discussion and debate about a move and so on. The answer is "No", I don't worry about him leaving because he is wanted at this club.
I've put this here just so Lerner doesn't come in for any unfair stick. He never actually said he wasn't going anywhere, merely that he was wanted at the club.
Martin O'Neill talking about James Milner on April 20th 2010
I don’t think it’s in the interests of Aston Villa to sell your [best] players. James has not asked to go. We haven’t had the chance to sit down and talk. I said we would leave it until the summer. That’s the time.
I put this in here, just so we know that O'Neill does have plans to talk to James Milner about a new contract and that he was leaving it until the summer. If they really want him to stay and this speculation of an offer is true, then I suspect someone will be flying out to Austria tomorrow or someone will be meeting with James on Sunday night when he arrives back in London.