Milner in talks over new Villa contract

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Aston Villa are to hold talks in the summer with midfielder James Milner regarding a new contract.

Milner signed a four-year deal when he became Villa's record signing in a £12 million switch from Newcastle 18 months ago and is under contract until June 2012. But Villa will act during the close season to attempt to tie down the 24-year-old on a longer term basis.

O'Neill told the Wolverhampton Express and Star: "I would say we wouldn't be looking at people until the summer but that doesn't mean that James Milner hasn't been fantastic for this football club."

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Milner has been in outstanding form and forced his way into contention to be part of the England squad for the World Cup in South Africa this summer.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill has already spoken with Milner but all parties have agreed to leave any negotiations until the end of the current campaign.

He added: "I've already spoken to him and we are leaving everything. We're not going to sit down now.

"The season is far too busy and the summer is the perfect time to talk and I think all parties agree on that too."

Milner, who began his career as a teenage striker at Leeds, has been moved this season into the centre of the park at Villa by O'Neill.

The former Celtic boss believes Milner can compete strongly with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard for a place in Fabio Capello's side but also feels his versatility will help to clinch a spot on the plane to the World Cup.

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James Milner
Premier League
Aston Villa

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