Aston Villa midfielder James Milner has been voted PFA Young Player of the Year. The England international has had a sensational campaign for Villa and has been honoured by his fellow professionals.
Milner succeeds Aston Villa team-mate Ashley Young in taking the award and beat off strong competition for the prize. Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas, both previous winners of the award, were in the running, along with Joe Hart, who has enjoyed a fine season on loan at Birmingham City.
Milner, though, came out on top in the voting from his peers as Rooney took the Player of the Year award. “It’s a massive honour,” said Milner. “It’s a great trophy and you look at the list of players who have won it beforehand and there are some fantastic names on there.
“The fact it is voted for by your fellow professionals makes it a great honour to receive.”
Manchester City are plotting a move for Aston Villa winger Ashley Young as a major rebuild of the Eastlands squad is planned this summer, according to a report from The Daily Mirror.
City are reportedly set to unload Craig Bellamy, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Martin Petrov in the summer, and plan to line up with Young on one wing and Adam Johnson on the other.
Young, 24, has impressed once again for Villa this season, but might be tempted to leave, along with several other Villa stars, after another season when breaking into the top four of the Premier League has proved too much for Martin O’Neill’s squad.
City have, like neighbours Manchester United, also been linked with a move for James Milner. O’Neill has angrily refuted suggestions that the midfielder is set to leave, as he looks to retain the services of his star players ahead of likely summer upheaval.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is looking to strengthen his squad ahead of next season’s Champions League campaign and the Aston Villa winger is apparently on his shopping list.
Ashley Young is wanted by Spurs and Manchester City (PA) Ashley Young is wanted by Spurs and Manchester City (PA)
Redknapp already has an abundance of riches on the flanks, with Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and David Bentley all at his disposal, but according to the Daily Star, he is keen to make Young his big summer signing.
He is prepared to offer Jermaine Jenas or Robbie Keane, together with £16 million for Young, who is also believed to be a target for big-spending Manchester City.
Neither Jenas nor Keane are part of Redknapp’s plans for next season and the Spurs manager will try to offload the pair to finance part of his summer spending spree.
Aston Villa winger Ashley Young is a prime summer target for Champions League holders Barcelona according to The Daily Mirror, with the Catalan giants set to offer a fee close to £25 million to secure his signing.
The 24-year-old who has earned seven caps with the England senior squad was PFA Young Player of the Season in 2009 has scored nine goals in all competitions during the current campaign.
Last season’s impressive performances attracted reported interest from Barca’s rivals Real Madrid and Chelsea.
The Catalans were originally concentrating on the signing of Frenchman Franck Ribery from Bayern Munich as a left-sided option, but they appear to have shifted their attention to Young.
The Villans have insisted they have not heard from Barca at this stage.
Ashley Young believes that he has the versatility to play anywhere and is now hoping that Martin O’Neill can use that. Young, who turned 25 this month, has played on both wings and as a lone forward under the guidance of the Villa boos, and the player believes his versatility should not to be dismissed in favour of stability on the left-wing. The Aston Villa Hospitality crowd agree.
“Nowadays there are a lot of players who can play in different positions and that’s good for the team, the squad and the manager,” Young told Aston Villa’s official club website.
“I am a versatile player. When I first signed for the club, I played up-front.
“I have also played off the front man, I’ve played right, I’ve played left and I’ve even played in central midfield, too.
“There are a lot of positions I have played in. Wherever the manager wants me to play I am happy to play there.
“As long as I am in the starting XI, that’s all that counts.”
Ashley Young missed just one game of Aston Villa’s 2009-10 Premier League campaign, scoring five goals and assisting a further 10.
Aston Villa are keen to retain services of Ashley Young and are ready to offer a new deal for him. Young’s future at Villa has been the subject of speculation in the wake of Martin O’Neill’s departure as manager.
The likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton are all thought to be keeping tabs on Ashley Young’s situation and are readying moves for the England international.
However, it is understood Villa owner Randy Lerner is determined to keep hold of Young and will resist any offers that come in for 25-year-old before the transfer window closes.
Ashley Young’s contract is going to end next season and Liverpool are planning to bring him to Anfield. Young, who scored in England’s 2-1 win against Denmark last week, has 17 months left on his contract and Villa are desperate for him to pledge his future to the club.
However, Liverpool and Manchester United remain keen to strike a £12m deal in the summer.Villa manager Gerard Houllier said: ‘He (Ashley Young) said he would talk about that at the end of the season and we will respect that. We know that some clubs could be interested in him but he could also be interested by Aston Villa.’
Fans have stopped buying Ashley Young Shirts in recent months, but would jump back right behind him if he was to commit his future to the club.
Liverpool and Manchester United are interested in signing Aston Villa player Ashley young. However with both the teams looking to move in for the player it appears as though the player might finally move to a team that he would be worthy of playing amongst. The only stepping stone in both the team’s way at the moment is the ridiculous price tag that has been slapped onto the player. Aston Villa’s manager Gerard Houllier has currently expressed his concern about the player’s future at the club and has stated that he is well aware of the threat that the other big teams possess at the moment, as a result the manager has slapped a hefty eighty million pound evaluation on the player.
Ashley Young however at the moment doesn’t seem to be in any rush to leave the team in the near future. He is currently looking to finally fit in amongst the talent of younger players that has seemed to flood Villa Park this season and he would be looking achieve something at the club finally.
That being said any interest that is shown clubs like Liverpool or United will have some negative effect to like other clubs will also want a look into the matter and the player will himself start to estimate his new value.
Houllier has said that Aston Villa will keep Ashley Young at the club, despite reports linking him to other clubs. Young, who has 18 months remaining on his deal, was on the verge of signing a new four-year contract in October. The improved deal would have given him a £500,000 annual pay rise and contained a clause that allowed him to leave Villa if a predetermined transfer fee was offered.
The former Watford player pulled out of signing at the last minute, however, and informed Villa he was not interested in returning to the negotiating table until the summer. With Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur showing interest, Ashley Young’s actions suggested he was keen to give himself the best possible chance of moving at the end of the season by reducing the fee Villa could demand for a player with only 12 months left on his soccer contract.
Ashley young is back from injury and is fit to face West Brom on Saturday. The on the field results have also been poor for Aston Villa, they have won just once in their last ten league games and have lost their last four games in all competitions. To be fair they have had their fair share of problems but are started to get back some of their senior players.
Emile Heskey is back from injury whilst Ashley Young returns from suspension whilst Barry Bannan is also fit to play, but Nigel Reo-Coker is still out with a knee problem despite his condition improving, but should be fit for Everton. Other players still on the long term injury list for Villa include Fabian Delph, Stylian Petrov and Steve Sidwell.