Arsene Wenger’s hopes of signing the ‘Yorkshire Figo’ as atonement for his missing out on the chance to sign Cristiano Ronaldo has hit a truck of boulders as the Manchester City midfielder is reportedly in talks with the club over an extended stay at the Etihad.
James Milner confirmed this during his chat with the media while on duty with Roy Hodgson’s side, stating:
“We’ve been in talks with the club. We’ve talked about it and hopefully it can get sorted some time soon”.
Reports in the weeks had suggested that Milner’s desire to play regular football would see him consider the possibility of a January exit from Manchester, Arsenal and Liverpool poised. With the former heavily tipped as one very likely destination.
The injury crisis at the Emirates, which has now seen Mesut Ozil join the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mike Arteta in the midfielders’ treatment room, has created a weakening in the Gunners engine room, threatening their ability to stay firm in the pursuit for glory this season. He had started only 12 Premier League games last season, and mostly used in the League Cup and FA Cup games.
The vastly experienced James Milner was to be a good reliable option for Wenger if a deal could be negotiated, but that now seems to be a distant dream as the 28-year old seems all but set to commit his future to the Citizens. With one year left on his current deal, City will look to secure the midfielder in the club for as long as possible, as he helps them comply with the Home-grown rules, while forming part of their usually strong substitutes’ bench. Manuel Pellegrini had expressed his understanding about Milner’s complaints of lack of regular game time, stating the player’s importance to his team as they push for all four trophies available this season.
“James is a very important player for our squad, he knows what I think about that”, the City boss said.
Milner has been, at best, a bit-part player at City since his £24m move from Aston Villa in 2010. With the likes of David Silva, Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure in the team, he never really managed to grab hold of a spot on the team as a regular in the XI week-in, week-out under Roberto Mancini’s title-winning team of 2012. Though highly regarded for his hard work for the team, Milner has not always had many fans of his football, himself even acknowledging his ‘boring’ tag. These, though, do not mask his ability to influence a game positively, being the stand-out performances for City in their draw against Chelsea, as well as last season in the Champions League Group stage victory away to Bayern Munich.
The search for midfielders to provide cover for our team continues.
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