James Milner’s potential transfer to Manchester City had a moment of clarity today.

After days of rumored fallout’s and accusations, Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill made it plain that the England International may leave the club, as long as Manchester City pay the asking price, rumored to be in the $46 million range.

O’Niell won’t stand in the way of the 24-year-old midfielder desire to join City, but has made it clear that Milner has asked to leave the club.

“James and his agent came to see us before the World Cup and intimated that they would like to go.” O’Neill told Villa’s official website.  “Manchester City made an offer, which we told them (Milner and his Agent).

“There is a difference of valuation at this moment between the buying club and the selling club. That may well be resolved and if that is the case then absolutely fine.

“I think James’ agent has told our chief executive that he wouldn’t be signing a new contract. Obviously that puts a different slant on things, like everything else. If a fee is agreed, at the end of the day, the player can leave.”

City are preparing another offer of $38 million in hopes of resolving the matter, but whay Villa will do with the bid is unknown.


Martin Jol was apparently unaware that there was no exit clause in his contract at Ajax, according to the Fulham website.

“On Thursday morning, following talks with Ajax, the club can confirm that it has ceased negotiations for the release of Martin Jol from his contract with the Dutch club.” The Fulham site said. “Although Fulham had agreed personal terms with Martin Jol, Ajax were not willing to allow him to leave under any circumstances, and have held him to the terms of the contract he signed last summer.

“When Fulham commenced negotiations with Martin Jol, the club was informed that an exit clause existed in his contract with Ajax. Subsequent negotiations revealed that the clause was no longer valid and Ajax’s position remained steadfast in their desire to keep their manager. Therefore dialogue between the two clubs has now ended.”

Jol, a former Tottenham head coach, had indicated that he was ready to return to the England as Ajax’s financial struggles were likely to mean many of the Dutchman’s starters from last seasons 2nd place finish would have to be sold.

“Ajax told me they did not want to let me go and I don’t think I can bring myself to leave Ajax at this time,” Jol said on the Ajax website. “I came here last summer to be successful, to build a good team and to have fun, and those three things are what I am interested in achieving next season.

“I am pleased that this hectic few days is over. We are all going to do our best to get the team to the desired level.”

“I like Fulham, I like London, I like England, so I was a bit disappointed I had to say no because the board don’t want me to go under any circumstances,” he told Sky Sports News. “We spoke about it for hours. It took a long time, which was probably not good for Ajax, and I had to tell them (Fulham) I had to stay. All these problems, going to court, I don’t want that.”

Sven-Goran Ericksson of Ivory Coast, Ottmar Hitzfeld of Switzerland and Dave Jones of Cardiff City are still possibilities for the Fulham job as the Premier League season approaches.


Manchester United are reportedly ready to offer Nemanja Vidic a new deal in hopes of keeping the 28-year-old at Old Trafford.

The new four-year deal worth $137,000 a week may put an end to speculation that Vidic, who still has two years left on his current deal, was on his way out of Manchester with Real Madrid waiting in the wings to snatch up the Serbian.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson told media that he “couldn’t clarify” Vidic’s future with the club.


Newcastle United have confirmed the signing of former Everton midfielder Dan Gosling.

“It’s a brilliant move for me. Now that the deal is done, I just can’t wait to get started.” Gosling told the Newcastle United official website. “I’ve played at St James’ Park before and know all about the amazing atmosphere. Playing there in a black-and-white shirt is something I’ve thought about already and it will be a great day when I finally get to walk out in front of 50,000 people.

“The gaffer, Chris Hughton, and all of the lads have been great with me and made me feel really welcome since I arrived and hopefully I can repay the faith they’ve shown in me.”

The 20-year-old Gosling has signed a four-year deal at St. James Park and comes to the Magpies after Everton failed to put the offer of a new contract in written form.

“He’s the right age and the profile that he has is what makes it such an appealing capture for us.” Newcastle boss Chris Hughton added “He’s young but has Premier League experience and he’s someone who can continue to develop his game.

“We see him as a high-energy player and a player that can play from box to box, but he’s also a young player with experience, so he won’t be phased by what is ahead of him.”

Gosling suffered, an anterior cruciate ligament injury in March and will likely not play for the Magpies until 2011.


Coming just a day after finding out that Petr Cech will miss the start of the Premier League campaign, Chelsea are now facing losing Brazilian defender Alex.

The center back has suffered a thigh injury and will be out for the start of the season, August 14 against West Brom, meaning the Blues will suffer in depth behind John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho.

Chelsea, who face Ajax on Friday in a friendly, lost first-choice goalkeeper for the same  amount of time out with a torn calf, but the club has Henrique Hilario and Ross Turnbull to step up between the posts.

“I think that against Ajax we will play 45 minutes each for Turnbull and Hilario, and I think Turnbull will start the game.” Manager Carlo Ancelotti told the Chelsea website.

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