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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 1, 2006

O'Neill 'disappointed' as Milner move collapses

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has revealed his disappointment at the collapse of James Milner's £4million move from Newcastle.

Milner was given permission to speak to Villa - he spent last season at the club on loan - and a fee and personal terms had been agreed for the 20-year-old.

However the England Under-21 winger was recalled by the Magpies on Thursday afternoon after the collapse of their attempt to sign Middlesbrough striker Mark Viduka.

O'Neill said: 'I am bitterly disappointed because everything had been agreed but there was absolutely nothing we could do about the situation.'

Sources claim Milner is 'upset' at the way the move was scuppered after Newcastle agreed to let him go to Villa for whom he made 33 appearances in 2005-2006 and scored three goals.

But it means O'Neill had to be content with signing Celtic midfielder Stilian Petrov for £8million before the transfer window closed at mid-night.

Meanwhile, new owner Randy Lerner is understood to be close to securing the 75% of shares needed to assume full control of the club.

Lerner acquired Villa for £62.6million a week ago after no rival bids were forthcoming before the deadline.

If he acquires 90% of the shares, he will be able compulsory to buy the remaining 10%.

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