Date: 1st September 2006 at 11:34am
Written by:

… after seven months of pulling Fat Fred’s plonker … offering £1m ‘and no more’ … and issuing newspaper reports that Milner wants to play his football at Villa Park, perhaps they got what they deserved.

Milner was given permission to speak to Villa on transfer deadline day and a fee of £4m and personal terms had been agreed. Then Shepherd insisted the deal would not go ahead and the winger had to return to Tyneside.

The Magpies had offered Milner to Boro on Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to sign Middlesbrough striker Mark Viduka. Boro said they wanted the cash up front – Shepherd agreed to sell Milner to Villa – then Boro had a change of heart and refused to sell the Aussie to Newcastle, whatever the cost. Roeder didn’t want to lose a player and not replace him.

O’Neill: ‘I am bitterly disappointed because everything had been agreed but there was absolutely nothing we could do about the situation.’