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Terry McDermott: Newcastle sold James Milner to Villa as they'd lined up Bastian Schweinsteiger

James Milner
Image: James Milner during his time playing for Aston Villa

Newcastle United sold James Milner to Aston Villa eight years ago because they thought they had Bastian Schweinsteiger lined up to replace him.

Milner, who had already spent a season-long loan at Villa in 2005/06, moved to Villa Park on a permanent deal in August 2008.

However, Terry McDermott, who was assistant to Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan at that time, has revealed the club only allowed Milner to leave because they believed Schweinsteiger, then at Bayern Munich, was on his way to the north east.

"We were actually at the club when we sold him, myself and Kevin Keegan," he told the 5times podcast.

"We sold him for £15m. The story goes - and this is a true story - we didn't want him to leave but we needed to get other players in because we'd had a bid of £15m.

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"Kevin said 'If we sell him for £15m, how are we going to replace him?'

"They said: 'We've already got one - Schweinsteiger'. He's at Man United now, but seven or eight years ago he was a superstar and they said we could get him.

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"The idea of accepting the bid of £15m for Milner, which was a lot of money then, and then we're looking to get Schweinsteiger it's a no brainer.

"But after he's signed for Villa - the day after - we're trying to sign Schweinsteiger and the answer was: 'Absolutely no chance, it will cost you £50m if you want to buy Schweinsteiger'.

Bastian Schweinsteiger has been told there could be a place for him back at Bayern Munich
Image: Newcastle thought Bastian Schweinsteiger would replace Milner at St James' Park

"So we had no one to replace him. But he was irreplaceable anyway because he could play anywhere."

England international Milner went on to make 93 appearances for Villa, before moving to Manchester City in 2010, where he would win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup.

Milner joined Liverpool on a free transfer in the summer of 2015 and is the club's vice-captain.

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