And his decision to stall on the purchase of a £1.9million new-build in Sutton Coldfield while his future is sorted out will raise both clubs' hopes of landing him.
Chelsea had all but agreed a deal with Milner several weeks ago over a proposed £20m switch to Stamford Bridge.
The player was happy with the £90,000-a-week wages on offer and Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti thought he had got his man.
However, City then offered £25m and similar personal terms to spice things up.
Milner has left negotiations in the hands of his advisors while he concentrates on England's World Cup bid.