PFA defend Milner's Newcastle transfer request

The Professional Footballers' Association are defending James Milner's right to ask for a transfer from Newcastle.

PFA chief executive Mick McGuire insists Milner only ever wanted a new deal at the club.

"The PFA, who represent James Milner, are disappointed that information regarding his request for a move, and the circumstances surrounding it, have come to the public's attention, and we feel we have no option but to respond," said a statement from McGuire.

"The facts are that James' transfer request was actually handed in on Wednesday, August 20, at which point it was asked by Newcastle to keep the matter private.

"The request was given because the player was looking for an improvement on his contract that reflected his development and his value to the club.

"There was a meeting between the owner and all relevant people at the club today when we believed James' request was to be discussed."

McGuire insists that Milner just wants to be rewarded for his progress over the last year.

"To clarify the situation, James did sign a contract 12 months ago," he continued.

"However, this agreement was reached with the club nearly 12 months previous at the point at which Newcastle had agreed to sell James to Aston Villa on transfer deadline day 2006 before cancelling the agreement at the 11th hour.

"Since then he has played over 80 games for Newcastle. All James wanted was a deal that reflected his development and that was in line with Newcastle's transfer valuation of him.

"Whilst James does have three years left on his current agreement, it is common practice that when a young player signs a long-term contract, this is reviewed and improved on a regular basis with a player's development, but equally it protects the club's position in regard to their transfer value.

"Although the transfer request was handed in seven days ago, James has been professional in keeping the matter private whilst giving strong performances for Newcastle."

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