Manchester City have today completed the signing of James Milner from Aston Villa.
Milner completes his move from the West Midland club in time to be available for a debut in front of the City fans for Monday evening’s eagerly anticipated game against Liverpool. He will not be able to feature in tomorrow evening’s Europa League game with Timisoara.
The 24-year-old midfielder had a positive World Cup despite a disappointing England showing in South Africa, and showed he is in top form with a superb performance and goal in Villa’s 3-0 opening day Premier League victory at home to West Ham United.
He was at City of Manchester Stadium and then Carrington today to finalise the details of his five-year deal after having completed his medical late yesterday.
Going the other way, Stephen Ireland has also completed his transfer from City to Villa. Ireland spent eight years at City, having come through the ranks as a teenager. He made 142 starts in that time, scoring 23 goals. His best season in a City shirt came in 2008/09, when he was named as the Club’s Player of the Year.
Both transfers were completed this afternoon, with Milner taking up the squad number seven following Ireland’s departure. City manager Roberto Mancini was delighted to finally seal the capture of Milner.
Mancini said: “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 he 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.
Speaking on Ireland’s departure, Mancini 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."
Everybody at MCFC would like to echo the Manager's sentiments and wish Stephen the very best of luck for the future.