Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jimmy riddle

No sooner had we enjoyed James Milner's man-of-the-match performance at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday night than the news broke that he had handed in a transfer request the previous Wednesday.

Milner's representatives the PFA are suggesting that the club have broken a gentlemen's agreement to keep the matter quiet, but the most significant issue for the fans is trying to understand quite why he'd want to leave: he's in the side and playing well, King Kev's clearly a firm fan and it's not as though his rumoured suitors Villa can offer him Champions League football. Perhaps he hasn't forgiven the club for suggesting he was dispensable and looking to offload him a couple of seasons ago.

As a club spokesman pointed out, the fact remains that "we have yet to receive an offer for James that matches our valuation", but he also noted ominously: "However, should such an offer be received then the club will be reluctantly forced to consider it, given James's apparent desire to leave." That sort of offer is almost certain to come before the transfer window shuts - whether from Villa, Liverpool or someone else - and so it looks like it'll take some serious sweet-talking from Messrs Ashley and Keegan to get him to stay.

In other news, Michael Chopra has checked himself into the Sporting Chance Clinic with the backing of his club and manager. He may have turned to the dark side since leaving us for Cardiff, but I'm sure all fellow Geordies wish him well.


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