Aston Villa have turned down a £20million bid from Manchester City for midfielder James Milner.
“We have received an offer from Manchester City for James Milner and this has been firmly rejected,” said a Villa spokesman on Wednesday.
“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.”
The 24-year-old midfielder was recently named PFA Young Player of the Year.
City launched their initial bid on Wednesday, but Villa boss Martin O’Neill is reluctant to lose the services of of a player who was arguably the club’s outstanding performer last season.
Milner is currently halfway through the four-year contract he signed when joining Villa for a club record £12million from Newcastle in the summer of 2008.
Fabio Capello recently said Milner was “the future” of English football and is a near certainty to be part of the final 23-man squad for the World Cup.
The England coach described Milner as England’s “most-improved” player, adding: “James Milner is a fantastic player. He is intelligent on the pitch. He passes the ball well. He creates goals and scores himself.
“He is a lot like Frank Lampard, younger, but with great energy.”
Manchester United and Chelsea have also been linked with the player.
Villa owner Randy Lerner stated only last week in his annual media briefing at Villa Park he was hopeful of the player remaining at Villa.