Premier League • England

Liverpool star tipped to reject Klopp advances over future, with role set to diminish further

James Milner, Jordan Henderson Diogo Jota Chelsea v Liverpool February 2022

Liverpool should reward James Milner with another year at the club but the veteran midfielder may have his reservations, one pundit has said.

The 36-year-old has proved a fantastic servant for the Reds following his free transfer in 2015 from Manchester City. While he has played 278 times for Liverpool, he has been crucial in the five trophies the club have won since then.

Indeed, he came on as a substitute in last Sunday’s Carabao Cup final and got the penalty shootout off to a flyer with his effort.

On Wednesday, meanwhile, he started at right-back and helped Liverpool beat Norwich to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. In fact, performances in either full-back role have proved a staple of his reliability at Anfield.

Nevertheless, his future is in question with his current contract expiring in the summer. Reds manager Jurgen Klopp hit out at reports claiming that Liverpool have offered him a one-year extension.

Klopp instead insisted that the Reds will hold their own talks with the player as he weighs up his options. According to former Liverpool midfielder Michael Thomas, tying Milner down again is a no-brainer.

“James Milner should 100 per cent get another year at the club,” the pundit told Caught Offside.

“He comes in and never plays a bad game. One of the most reliable players I’ve seen in any position you need to deploy him. He is good for cover and to have around the dressing room.”

Liverpool man starring in perfect new-found role

Takumi Minamino hasn’t proved the most crucial player for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, but he has settled perfectly into his role this season.

However, Thomas added that Milner may want one more season of more regular football elsewhere as his career comes to a close.

“Whether he would be open to that as he will probably get less minutes than this season, so I am not sure,” the pundit said.

“He has been a great servant to the club and to get a player of that ilk for free is crazy.”

Before Liverpool’s Carabao Cup triumph, Milner played a key role in the club’s Premier League and European success.

Milner has decision to make

James Milner replacing Curtis Jones

While Milner may want regular minutes, Liverpool also value his leadership behind the scenes.

He is a key figure in the dressing room amid his veteran experience. There is talk of him moving into coaching when he retires.

However, Klopp confirmed that he has at least one more year left in his playing days.

Further reports have linked Milner with a move back to Leeds, where his Premier League career started at the age of 16.