Liverpool

Liverpool

Premier League • England

Liverpool man willing to take big wages cut to remain at Anfield next season

James Milner, Roberto Firmino warm up for Liverpool before 2019 Champions League final at Wanda Metropolitano

Liverpool will be able to count on James Milner for another season at least, with the star willing to take a drop in his salary to remain at Anfield.

There are a number of contract situations for Liverpool to deal with at present. They are focusing on what to do with their famed front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, all of whom have terms expiring at the end of next season.

But an even more pressing issue is that of James Milner. The dependable midfielder is out of contract this June.

At the age of 36, he remains a fundamental member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad. Even though he is no longer a regular starter, he has still amassed 25 appearances so far this season.

Milner has been drawing interest from a number of other Premier League clubs. One report earlier this week named Crystal Palace and Watford as potential suitors.

It was followed by rumours of a return to Aston Villa. Alternatively still, the idea of going all the way back to boyhood club Leeds has often been considered a possibility.

However, Milner appears intent on staying at Anfield. To that end, Liverpool are reported to have opened talks over a one-year contract extension.

Now Danny Mills is backing Klopp’s decision to extend the veteran star’s stay – even though another deal would take him well beyond the age of 37.

And speaking to Football Insider, Mills suggests Milner will likely take a drop in wages in a big show of committment.

“I’ve been quite surprised about people kicking up a fuss about this,” Mills said.

“People saying ‘I can’t believe they’re going to give James Milner a new contract, he hardly plays’.

Milner ‘a great player to have around the place’

“They’re not going to offer him £500,000-a-week, it’s going to be relative. I assume it’s going to be less than he’s earning now.

“It will be relative to the number of games he’s played and there will be a bit of loyalty thrown in there too.

“He’s very, very good around the place, he’s reliable, he’s professional. He sets the right example to the other players and the players coming through because he’s got a wealth of experience.

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“It’s up to James Milner. Is there an opportunity to go and play more football somewhere else or does he want to stay where he is?

“He’s not a bit-part player but he’s in the squad, he’s in and around it and gets a bit of game time here and there. He might be happy with that and it’s his choice.

“There will be several clubs who want him for his experience and professionalism alone.”

Another Liverpool exit expected

Meanwhile, Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson has backed the Reds to continue their ‘outstanding’ transfer strategy by selling another Klopp favourite for ‘big money’.

Liverpool have regularly sold fringe players for decent profit in recent years. That includes the likes of Rhian Brewster, Jordan Ibe, Dominic Solanke and Danny Ward.

One player who could be sold this summer is English centre-back Nat Phillips. The 24-year-old became a favourite for Klopp and Liverpool fans alike during a defensive shortage last term.

Phillips made 20 appearances across all competitions, including three in the Champions League knockout stages.

However, the Bolton-born defender is now out on loan with Bournemouth after falling down the pecking order at Anfield.

When asked about Phillips, Lawrenson said (via the Bournemouth Echo): “You get some players who come in, I mean Nat Phillips, he did really really well and he’s gone to Bournemouth on loan and they’ll sell him, and they’ll sell him for big money.

“This is something Arsene Wenger used to do [at Arsenal]. He’d bring promising players through, play them in the first-team before deciding they weren’t at the level.

“Then people would come in to buy them and you can say, ‘he’s played 15 games in the Premier League’ and hike up the price.

“Liverpool have locked onto that in the last few years and some of the sales have been outstanding.”

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