Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Milner Wants United Future

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Milner Wants United Future

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

JAMES Milner is confident Newcastle United will reject Aston Villa's attempt to sign him in January after the young midfielder suggested he had never been happier with life at St James's Park.

Milner was due to move to Villa Park on deadline day in August, but the pounds 5m transfer was aborted when Mark Viduka decided to stay at Middlesbrough.

But, while Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder was criticised over his handling of the incident, Milner has recovered and appears to have become an important part of his manager's plans.

Villa are expected to make another approach in the New Year, but Milner, whose commitment and steadily improving performances have also made him a popular figure among the club's supporters, does not think he will be going anywhere.

"There are constant rumours about Aston Villa, but I think I'll still be here in January, I certainly hope so," said Milner, who has already made 23 appearances this season following a year on loan at Villa.

"When you're at a club like Newcastle you are going to get these sorts of rumours the whole time, but it doesn't affect me. I'm going to concentrate on Newcastle, playing my football and getting on with the job of getting us back up the Premiership table.

"It's no secret that I'm enjoying myself here this season. You enjoy your football more when you're playing well and you play well when you're getting a regular run in the side.

"I'm getting that here. The manager's got tough decisions to make in midfield because we have a lot of quality in that area. You've got to play well to stay in the team, but I'm enjoying my football and I'm showing my best form.

"Hopefully I can continue to keep improving here."

The Journal understands that United will not be making another bid for Viduka in January. The Australian, who has not played since September because of injury, is out of contract at the Riverside Stadium in the summer, but Roeder has other targets.

The Magpies, who were yesterday handed a trip to Steve Bruce's Birmingham City in the draw for the FA Cup third round, will sign a left back - probably Wayne Bridge - and a centre back - possibly Zat Knight - and hope to bring in two strikers, one of whom is believed to play in Holland, when the transfer window opens. …

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