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Price must be right - O'Neill

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill will allow James Milner to leave the club for Manchester City if they meet the asking price for the England midfielder.

Milner told O'Neill before the World Cup, where he started three of England's four games, that he wanted to leave the club he joined for a reported £12m (€14m) from Newcastle two years ago. City had a bid of around £20m (€24m) rejected in May for the 24-year-old and Villa are believed to be looking for a figure in the region of £30m (€36m).

O'Neill, who revealed he has not spoken to Milner since before he left for the World Cup, told www.avfc.co.uk: "The state of affairs is really straightforward. James and his agent came to see us before the World Cup and intimated that they would like to go."

He added: "Then Manchester City made the offer, which we told them about. There is a difference of valuation at this moment between the buying club and the selling club. That may well be resolved and if that is the case then absolutely fine.

"I think James' agent has told our chief executive that he wouldn't be signing a new contract. Obviously that puts a different slant on things, like everything else.

"If a fee is agreed, at the end of the day, the player can leave."

Villa are currently in Dublin for a training camp, which includes a pre-season friendly against Bohemians on Saturday, but Milner has been given an extended break because of his involvement in the World Cup.

The former Leeds academy player evolved into one of England's best midfielders last season after moving from the right into the centre and spearheaded Villa's unsuccessful bid for a Champions League spot.

© Press Association