The race for England international James Milner is over.
Liverpool announced on Thursday that they have signed the 29-year-old midfielder, as Milner’s current contract at Manchester City runs out on July 1.
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Liverpool are believed to have beaten Arsenal to Milner’s signature, with the former Leeds United, Newcastle United and Aston Villa workhorse also attracting plenty of interest from abroad.
In a statement on their website Liverpool confirmed they have agreed to a deal for Milner and he will move to Anfield subject to passing a medical.
Liverpool Football Club are delighted to announce they have agreed a deal to sign Manchester City’s James Milner, subject to a medical.
The Reds have agreed personal terms with the England international, who will join the club on a free transfer on July 1 after his contract at the Etihad Stadium has expired.
Milner will arrive at Anfield having lifted two Barclays Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup during his five-year spell with City.
Milner is one of those guys who you take for granted. He puts in a terrific shift each time he steps on the pitch and although he may not be the most glamorous player, Man City’s fans will miss him. He won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup during his five years with City following his $43 million move from Aston Villa.
City offered Milner a new deal and Manuel Pellegrini wanted to keep him as his status as a homegrown player, plus his ability to play in pretty much every position on the pitch, makes him invaluable. Milner made 47 appearances for City in 2014-15 and scored eight times as he was often used wide on the right. In the second half of the PL season he played like a man possessed, scoring seven times in 18 games as the Citizens finished second behind Chelsea.
Also able to play centrally, Milner will provide Liverpool with a real presence in midfield as he can get up and down the pitch, ruffle the feathers of opposition players but also has the quality to pick out a pass or finish when he gets in the final third. He will not be a direct replacement for Steven Gerrard but he could soften the blow of the Reds losing their inspirational skipper.
With Belgian international striker Divock Origi arriving from Lille permanently this summer, Brendan Rodgers is doing his business early as Liverpool aim to push back into the top four. Milner’s arrival could be key in achieving that as he’ll likely become a regular starter which is what he craved at City over the years.