Date: 16th June 2006 at 11:36am
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Freddy Shepherd has lost patience with Aston Villa, and now Wigan are ready to test Newcastle’s resolve to hang on to young midfielder James Milner.

The 20-year-old is wanted by Aston Villa, where he spent a successful loan spell last season with David O’Leary, but Shepherd told them to ‘put up or shut up’ after the Villa board haggled over the price.

However, with Villa struggling to come up with the £3.5million they would need to persuade Glenn Roeder that the England Under-21 international is dispensible, Wigan are understood to be prepared to match that valuation as Paul Jewell looks to build on an excellent first season in the Barclays Premiership.

However, Glenn Roeder has already admitted he has no particular desire to see the promising youngster leave and has told him so, and that could prove a key factor.

But with Solano still on the books and the Magpies currently pursuing Fulham’s Steed Malbranque, they may be prepared to do business.