Newcastle United's new manager Glenn Roeder has told Aston Villa that he will not be rushed into selling winger James Milner.
The England Under-21 international spent last season on loan with David O'Leary's side and in the 33 games he played was one of the few bright spots of an otherwise disappointing campaign for Villa.
Those performances prompted O'Leary to go public with his desire to recruit the 20-year-old on a permanent basis and make a formal approach, while the player has let if be known he has enjoyed his time in the Midlands.
But two days after being confirmed as the new boss at St James' Park Roeder revealed that he is having talks with Newcastle chairman Freddie Shepherd on a number of topics but Milner's future is sure to be on the agenda.
"James Milner has had a very good season at Villa and has impressed David O'Leary," Roeder said. "But I will be sitting down with the chairman at the end of the week to discuss the whole squad. That will include discussing James' future as well.
"We don't have to rush into making a decision on James and until I've met with the chairman, nothing will be decided."
Now O'Leary will be keeping his fingers crossed that a permanent deal can be agreed for the former Leeds United man, whom he handed an Elland Road debut at the age of 16.
O'Leary said: "I don't think we've made a secret of the fact that we want James to stay here next season. He's done very well for us and there's plenty more to come from him.
"The bit of money we have to spend should secure a deal for James and that's what we're looking to do as
quickly as possible. Newcastle want to do a deal and so do we.
"I'll be delighted if we secure him for the fans, for the future. He fits the bill of the sort of young, ambitious player I want to build the side around."
The Irishman is also confident that Milner wants to remain at Villa Park given his first team prospects appear brighter than in the North East.
Roeder has Nolberto Solano, Charles N'Zogbia and highly-rated trainee Matt Pattison to man the flanks which means Milner would effectively be competing for a place on the bench if the new man retains his faith with the Peruvian. An offer of around £3 million would be enough to open negotiations.
"We've spoken to Newcastle about it and we know the fee, so hopefully a deal can be done. I know James is a young boy who wants to play for this football club," said O'Leary.
"He would sign today if we could reach an agreement with Newcastle. He wants to sign and hopefully we'll have some good news on that soon."
Meanwhile, former loan player Eirik Bakke is planning a reunion with Villa next season but first he must successfully come through Sunday's Championship play-off final against Watford.
Bakke spent four months with Villa earlier this season before returning to employers Leeds when the Premiership side could not come up with the cash to buy him.
He is now just 90 minutes from returning to the top-flight after two injury hit seasons and is using his experience at Villa Park as motivation.
"I had a taste of the Premiership with Aston Villa earlier this season, and that's made me more determined to get back there," Bakke said.
"It's the place I want to be  the place everyone wants to be. I want to test myself against the best players in England and the world. You can sense the will and desire within the other players to do the same, and hopefully we can do it."