Skip to main content

Manchester City's spending spree continues as Milner signs

James Milner has swapped Aston Villa for big-spending Manchester City.
James Milner has swapped Aston Villa for big-spending Manchester City.
  • Manchester City complete the signing of James Milner
  • England international Milner signs five-year deal with City
  • Stephen Ireland joins Aston Villa as part of Milner deal

(CNN) -- Manchester City continued their lavish spending spree by sealing the capture of England international James Milner from Aston Villa in a deal reportedly worth $37 million.

Milner put pen to paper on a five-year deal with the English Premier League side as Stephen Ireland traveled in the opposite direction.

The 24-year-old is the latest in a long line of big-name players to sign for Roberto Mancini's side, who are bankrolled by Abu Dhabi oil billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Earlier this week City bought striker Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan, to add to the signings of ex-Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure, Germany defender Jerome Boateng, Serbian defender Aleksander Kolarov as well as Spain winger David Silva in deals that amounted to a reported $195 million.

Milner's transfer was mooted long before he went to the World Cup with England, but he played his last game for Villa in their 3-0 defeat of West Ham on the opening day of the Premier League season on Saturday.

I'm ambitious and I want to win trophies. I believe this is a great place to do that and I believe we will do it.
--James Milner, Man City

He told City's official website: "It didn't take too much selling by the boss when you see the players who are already here and the plans for the club.

"The last thing he said to me was "be ready for the next game," and then he said "be ready to win the Premier League," and that's my ultimate aim - that's what I want to do and why I'm here.

"There's a lot of competition to get there, it's where we all want to be. I'm ambitious and I want to win trophies here. I believe this is a great place to do that and I believe we will do it. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.

"The move seems to have gone on a long time - now all I want to do is get out on the field and play. I'm ready and raring to go now we've finally got everything done. I can't wait to start a new chapter."

Mancini said he was delighted to finally seal the deal for Milner: "I am very happy to have James with us, everybody knows we have admired him for some time.

"He is an excellent midfielder, who can play in a number of positions. This is important for the team, and I am looking forward to seeing him play for us. We have a very strong squad, and this signing is a very important one for us.

"James is already a very good player, who has proved he can play at the very top level. But he is also young and a good character."

As for Ireland, the 23-year-old ended his five-year association with City to move to Villa Park, after slipping down the pecking order at Eastlands.

He told Villa's official website: "For me, my number one target is to work hard for my team-mates, show them what I can bring to the table, show them they can rely on me and that I am going to work hard for them week in, week out."