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May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Aston Villa said it “firmly rejected” a bid from Premier League rival Manchester City for England midfielder James Milner.

“We plan to sit down with James and his representative after the World Cup to agree a new long-term deal and this remains our position,” Villa said late yesterday in a statement on its website.

City offered 20 million pounds ($28.8 million) for Milner, 10 million pounds short of Villa manager Martin O’Neill’s valuation of the player, the Times of London reported.

Milner, 24, was voted as English soccer’s Young Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association last month and is currently in Austria with the England squad preparing for the World Cup in South Africa.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Baynes at

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