JAMES MILNER has vowed to put his club future on hold until after the World Cup – but admits he doesn’t know whether he’ll be an Aston Villa player next season.
The 24-year-old is in high demand after an outstanding season at Villa Park and was the subject of a failed £20m bid from Manchester City yesterday.
Big-spending City now look set to up their offer to around £25m for the PFA Young Player of the Year, while rivals Manchester United are also said to be monitoring the situation.
But Milner, who is due to open talks with current boss Martin O’Neill about an extension to his current deal, says his focus now is solely on making Fabio Capello’s final 23-man squad and helping England to glory in South Africa.
He said: “Do I expect to be at Villa next season? I don’t know. I’ve worked as hard as I can and concentrated on club football while the season has been on.
“Now it has finished, I’m focusing on England – and that’s the only thing I am focusing on.
“The speculation about my own future is not distracting. There are always going to be rumours about every player in every club when the transfer window opens.
“To be linked with any clubs is flattering but I’m just concentrating on England at this time. The season finished at Villa a week and a bit ago and we all said we would discuss it [my future] after the World Cup.
“I’ve enjoyed my time at Aston Villa, it’s a good club, we’ve had a lot of success this season, came close in two competitions, and we are moving forward.”
Milner has been described as “the future” by Capello, but the ex-Newcastle and Leeds star is not taking his squad inclusion for granted.
“I’ll just keep playing as well as I can and hopefully force my way into the 23,” he added.