Milnergate has rocked Toon just days before window slams shut
James Milner's decision to slap in a transfer request at Newcastle United may well be a fierce topic for debate but with just a few days left of the transfer window it could leave the Magpies in a sticky situation.
Indeed with just days left of the window, how can you replace a player of his calibre or even arrange a transfer that wouldn't be a big money gamble or dare I say it a "panic buy."
The player left Coventry's Ricoh Arena after one of his best ever performances in a black and white shirt clutching the man of the match champagne and snubbed requests for further interviews after telling Sky that he was: "Only concentrating on football."
And clearly it would now appear that he meant football away from St James's Park.
But while there are some fans who will be gutted by his departure, especially the ones who see him as a model professional there will be sections of fans who will see this differently.
Certainly when Milner done a question and answer session last year with the fans at the Chronicle, many supporters questioned the player's crossing ability.
And while that may be unfair perhaps the sensible way of looking at it would be to question the player's consistency more than his ability to cross that final ball because last night there was more than enough evidence of the player's skills out wide.
Milner is still a young gun at 22 and his best years are surely in front of him.
And despite his tender years he can always claim there have been times when his treatment at St James's Park has been something bordering between not very nice and somewhat out of order.
Indeed Glenn Roeder told the player his Toon career was over in 2006 and sent him to Aston Villa to discuss a permanent transfer yet less than three hours later and with Milner set to step into Martin O'Neill's office - Milner was told to turn round and head back to Tyneside as the deal was off due to Newcastle's failure to sign Mark Viduka at the first attempt.
Milner's reward for his understanding of the complex situation? Dropped for the next game.
That came months after Roeder had told the Chronicle, Miner "would not be going anywhere" and just weeks after he'd returned from Villa on loan the previous season after being sent packing from St James's Park to accomodate Nobby Solano's return to Tyneside under Graeme Souness.
Nowt like making a young kid feel welcome eh?
Milner can probably say he has been as fair as he can with Newcastle after two incidents in which the club made it clear his future could lie elsewhere.
And if it is Villa that sign up the player then you have to say good luck to Milner, despite inconsistent form he has always been a top class professional who would speak to the fans via the local paper win, lose or draw.
But from a personal point of view doubts that Milner was on the way this summer crept in last month at the ONO Stadium after the club's first training session in Mallorca.
It was then that I requested an interview with Milner and unlike normal the player turned it down claiming: "I'm too hot."
That was back on July 30th and since then there has been nothing but constant talk of a move for Milner.
But the player signed by Sir Bobby Robson in 2004 could yet end up being a Newcastle player if Villa don't come up with a suitable offer for the winger who is contracted to United until 2011.
And what is a suitable offer these days for a winger with his best years in front of him and on the brink of an England call-up?
Surely ÃÂ£10million to ÃÂ£13million in today's financial climate or how about just a straight swap for wantaway Villa man Gareth Barry, if they want one of our best players, can't we have one of theirs?
And where does it leave Newcastle United? Are we now a selling club again just like the days when Waddle, Gazza and Pedro left Toon?
Yet again, it's all ifs and buts.
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