Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has confirmed that midfielder James Milner, linked with a move to Manchester City throughout the summer, is close to leaving Villa Park.
O'Neill had previously said Milner would be allowed to leave for Eastlands should Villa's evaluation, thought to be £30 million, be met. City had previously offered £20 million for the England international but has since added attacking midfielder Stephen Ireland to a revised package.
The clubs were close enough to a deal to justify O'Neill pulling Milner from his Friday team that played Valencia.
“We didn’t play him against Valencia because there could be something happening in terms of the transfer over the weekend or Monday or Tuesday,” O’Neill said.
“Until that possibly develops I thought it best to leave him out of the Valencia game. To my knowledge no fee has been agreed but talks are taking place involving our chief executive and the chairman.
“I think for everyone’s benefit it is probably time to try and get something done.”
Manchester City is also thought to be close to completing its deal for Internazionale forward Mario Balotelli in a deal expected to top £25 million.