Premier League • England

‘I don’t normally’ – Klopp breaks golden rule to set record straight on Liverpool star’s situation

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that while he wants James Milner to stay and sign a new contract, no progress has yet been made in talks.

The 36-year-old midfielder is edging towards the end of a stellar career. However, he still has no plans to retire yet. He previously proved a fantastic servant to Aston Villa and Manchester City. He has since enjoyed an excellent spell at Liverpool.

In fact, he has taken his tally of Premier League appearances to 581 with 276 Reds appearances. In that time, he has helped the club towards major silverware at Anfield.

Milner celebrated his birthday in January and his current deal expires this summer. Klopp confirmed earlier this month that there is “no chance” the Englishman retires now.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano subsequently claimed that Liverpool have offered Milner a one-year contract offer.

However, Klopp took exception to such “misleading” reports in his programme notes ahead of Wednesday’s win over Leeds United. The manager clarified that Milner “will keep playing” and, hopefully for him, at Anfield.

But he added (via the Liverpool Echo): “It’s not fair or right to then jump to the conclusion that an offer has been made, because I don’t think that’s fair on James.

“I know I don’t normally go into this much detail on matters such as this, but given how conscientious James is when it comes to not putting private things into the public domain, I wanted to make the actual position clear.

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“As should be the case, these things will get picked up in private and James will keep doing for us what he has done during my entire time working with him.

Klopp said that Liverpool feel “blessed” to still have Milner. The player made his Premier League debut for Leeds United at the age of 16.

Indeed, Klopp hailed the midfielder’s “personal desire and hunger for more”.

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Milner has won the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup at Liverpool.

He won a further two Premier League titles and the League Cup at City.

Midfielder part of Klopp journey

Liverpool players Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk and James Milner with manager Jurgen Klopp

The midfielder initially arrived at Anfield in 2015 under former manager Brendan Rodgers.

However, he remains one of only two players – Divock Origi the other – who started in Klopp’s first game for Liverpool and are still at the club.

Milner is still a key figure having featured in 17 Premier League matches this season, making 26 outings overall.

Given his trophy experience, though, he also offers a crucial leadership role to the Reds and their younger players.

As such, he has been tipped to move into management when he finally does retire.