Premier League • England

Everton eye rare Liverpool raid in spectacular twist as two other Premier League rivals cause transfer delay

James Milner, Mohamed Salah, September 2022

Although James Milner appears to be on the verge of signing for Brighton, a report has revealed that the Liverpool midfielder is also admired by Everton.

Milner is approaching the end of his contract with Liverpool and it now looks likely that this will be his last season with the club. Links with Brighton have been getting more serious in recent days, to the point where some sources now believe his move there is practically done.

However, despite Brighton’s interest developing quickly, details have been emerging about other interest in the 37-year-old.

Previously, it became clear that Milner could be a target for Burnley, who are of course managed by his former Manchester City teammate Vincent Kompany.

Now, though, 90min has named three other suitors who are hoping that Milner will wait before committing to Brighton.

Perhaps most intriguingly of all, the online outlet has claimed that Everton are interested in keeping Milner on Merseyside – but this time as a Toffee.

A switch between the two rivals is rare, but Everton seem to appreciate Milner. Some of their own midfielders, such as Tom Davies and Abdoulaye Doucoure, will also be out of contract at the end of the season.

Even some examples protected by longer deals, like Amadou Onana, might not stick around if bigger clubs come calling – especially taking into account Everton’s financial situation. Therefore, there could be space to fill in Sean Dyche’s midfield.

With that in mind, they want Milner to delay his decision on whether to join Brighton or not.

Also hoping that Milner shows a little more patience are Nottingham Forest and his former club Leeds United.

Milner began his career with Leeds, who are his hometown team. He made more than 50 appearances for them in a two-season spell with the senior team.

A lot has changed since, but the idea of him returning there towards the end of his career has lingered for a long time.

Brighton the most appealing choice for James Milner

For any of those three admirers to become tempting options for Milner, they would probably have to secure Premier League safety. Currently, all three of them are embroiled in a battle against relegation.

With four games to go, Everton and Nottingham Forest find themselves in the bottom three. Leeds – who have turned to Sam Allardyce to oversee the rest of their battle against relegation – are just one place above the drop zone because of their goal difference.

In contrast, Brighton are aiming high under Roberto De Zerbi and have a genuine chance of qualifying for a European competition for next season. They are eighth in the table at present, but have games in hand over the sides above them.

If they win them all, they would even find themselves above Milner’s current club Liverpool in the table.

It makes them a more appealing destination for a player who has still been capable of playing almost 40 games this season.

Furthermore, the report from 90min has revealed that ex-Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has played a part in tempting Milner to follow him to Brighton.

Hence, no matter what the likes of Everton, Leeds and Nottingham Forest might be trying, it looks like Milner’s fate is sealed.

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