City seal Milner swoop
England midfielder James Milner has completed his move to Man City with Stephen Ireland heading in the opposite direction to Aston Villa.
By Rob Parrish
Last Updated: 18/08/10 7:14pm
England midfielder James Milner has completed his move to Manchester City with Stephen Ireland heading in the opposite direction to Aston Villa.
Milner has finally sealed his protracted switch to Eastlands, with the transfer saga having occupied the back pages for much of the summer.
The former Leeds and Newcastle man has signed a five-year deal with the big-spending Blues as part of a deal reported to be worth £24million.
Villa have been rewarded handsomely for parting company with the highly-rated young international, receiving £16million and the services of Ireland, who is valued at £8million.
The 24-year-old Milner is expected to make his debut in Monday's home Premier League clash with Liverpool, live on Sky Sports HD1 and 1, as he is not able to feature in the Europa League date with Timisoara on Thursday.
Roberto Mancini was delighted to finally land his man and believes the versatile midfielder, who can operate on either flank or in a more central role, will be an excellent addition to his star-studded squad.
The Italian told the club's official website: "I am very happy to have James with us, everybody knows we have admired him for some time.
"He is an excellent midfielder, who can play in a number of positions. This is important for the team, and I am looking forward to seeing him play for us. We have a very strong squad, and this signing is a very important one for us.
"James is already a very good player, who has proved he can play at the very top level. But he is also young and a good character, I think he can also improve and be a great player for Manchester City for a long time."
Mancini was also quick to pay tribute to the departing Ireland, who was named the club's Player of the Year in 2008/09 but has now been deemed surplus to requirements.
He added: "I hope things go well for Stevie at Villa. He is also a very good player, and he has played a big part in City's history.
"I think he will enjoy the change of being at another club, and I hope he does well for Aston Villa."
Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald has welcomed the new addition to his squad, with Ireland having signed a four-year contract in the Midlands.
"This is a great signing for the football club," he told the club's official website.
"Stephen is an outstanding young talent who will complement the talented players we already have here and we're looking forward very much to working with him."