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Villa hold 'amicable' talks with City target Milner

Aston Villa have held what the club describe as "amicable" talks with Manchester City target James Milner and the midfielder will be a member of Martin O'Neill's squad for a pre-season tournament in Portugal.

• Redknapp rules out Milner
• O'Neill expects interest

City had an offer for Milner rejected prior to the World Cup finals and it is reported the club are ready to make an improved bid for the versatile midfielder, who made four appearances for England in South Africa.

O'Neill stated recently that Milner had "intimated" he wanted to join City - though that has been denied by the player - and the two men met on Monday when the midfielder reported back for pre-season training.

"James Milner trained with the rest of the Villa squad today [Monday] at Bodymoor Heath," a club statement read. "He and the manager, along with chief executive Paul Faulkner and the player's representative, Matthew Buck, had an amicable conversation and, while James will not play in tomorrow's game at Walsall, he will fly with the squad to Portugal on Wednesday ahead of the Guadiana Cup in which Villa will compete with Benfica and Feyenoord this weekend."

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said recently in response to O'Neill's declaration that Milner was keen to leave Villa Park: "If we have this chance [to sign Milner] I think we can take him."

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