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Manuel Pellegrini hails "phenomenon" James Milner

Manuel Pellegrini praises "polyfunctional" James Milner as the "most complete English player".

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has heaped praise on James Milner, by describing him as the most "complete English player".

Milner is out of contract at the end of the season and is thought to be considering his future as he wants to play more first-team football.

Pellegrini told The Guardian: "I'm Milner's number one fan. Find me a more complete English player. There are players who're better technically, yes. Quicker players, yes. Players who head better, yes. But show me one who does all the things Milner does well. There isn't one.

"It's hard to leave him out. Respect, commitment and performance level [are] 10/10, fantastic. He's polyfunctional: full-back [is] the only position he doesn't like. Attacking midfield, wide. I played him as a forward and the team averaged three goals a game. He gives everything. You leave him on the bench and he's absolutely furious but watch him during the game, encouraging, shouting, supporting. And in the next training session he kills himself.

"Milner's a phenomenon, a guy with big balls and a heart this big. Intelligent, great mentality, one of those players that when you leave him out you're left with this feeling of injustice. It hurts because he should always play but sometimes you need a technical player with other characteristics. I hope he stays. If he doesn't it will be because there's an important offer."

Milner is in line to start for City against Barcelona tomorrow night.

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Lionel Messi of Barcelona draws a foul from Pablo Zabaleta of Manchester City in the area to win a penalty during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Manchester City and Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on February 24, 2015
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