Premier League

Milner deal almost complete

MacDonald wants Ireland registered in time for Vienna return leg

Milner: City medical

Milner: City medical

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Aston Villa caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald hopes that the swap deal involving James Milner and Manchester City's Stephen Ireland will be completed on Wednesday.

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"Hopefully by the end of today he will have signed in time for us to be registered to play in the return leg next week."

Kevin MacDonald on Stephen Ireland

Quotes of the week

England midfielder Milner travelled to Manchester on Tuesday afternoon to undergo a medical with City after a fee was agreed with Villa which will see Ireland moving in the opposite direction as part of a reported £26million transfer.

Speculation has suggested that Ireland's determination to secure a £2m pay-off from City was delaying the move, but MacDonald expects business to be finalised at some point on Wednesday.

Speaking before Villa flew out of England for Thursday's Europa League qualifying play-off first leg against Rapid Vienna, MacDonald said that he was eager to have Ireland available for the return meeting on 26th August.

"Stephen is down with us, doing the medical, finalising arrangements, and James is the opposite up there (Manchester)," he told Sky Sports News.

"Hopefully by the end of today he will have signed in time for us to be registered to play in the return leg next week."

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Asked if he was glad that the saga was close to reaching a conclusion, MacDonald said: "Relief is not really the thing for me because it has been ongoing for such a long time.

"But at least we will now know one way or another whether we have got James or Stephen, and Stephen is going to be coming here."

Villa have been relatively quiet in the summer transfer market, which was a factor that led to former manager Martin O'Neill resigning.

But MacDonald has not ruled out new signings before transfer deadline day at the end of August and he could hold talks with chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive officer Paul Faulkner before Sunday's Premier League trip to Newcastle.

He said: "Probably after tomorrow's game I might be able to sit down and speak with Paul and Mr Lerner. But if not we have got Sunday's game to look forward to as well.

"So I think there is so much going on for me to get my head around that at the moment we have probably got a week or 10 days to see if there are going to be any dealings in the market."