James Milner has extended his contract at Liverpool for another year, until the summer of 2023.
Milner has agreed to a lower compensation package in exchange for a new deal that will extend his stay at Anfield to eight years.
The 36-year-previous old’s contract was set to expire at the end of this month, and he had offers from one Premier League club and two from abroad.
Milner told the Liverpool official website, “I’m delighted to be staying for another season.” “I’ve never taken playing for this club for granted, and I’ll never take it for granted again.”
“As long as I can still play my part, that’s not something easy to walk away from. Last season was extraordinary, even though it didn’t have the ending we hoped it would. But I think that will only make us all even hungrier for more success, to be honest. I felt that after the parade and that played a part in my decision-making also. It’s a unique club.
“An overriding feeling for me – and a vitally important one in the process – was the belief I can still contribute to the team. The gaffer was clear what he thought and that was a big factor in me extending my contract.
“Now this is signed, I’m already looking forward to getting back with everyone, refocusing and going again. It’s a brilliant dressing room to be part of.”
The deal was very much driven by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who was not prepared to lose a player who made 39 appearances for the team last season.
Milner was offered the new contract before the end of the campaign just finished but decided to wait until the end of the season before deciding on his future. The new contract also means Milner is likely to surpass 300 appearances for Liverpool next season, with the veteran midfielder 11 away from that milestone.
Earlier this year, Liverpool boss Klopp described Milner as a “role model” at the club – and even went as far to say that none of the Reds’ recent achievements – including their Champions League and Premier League trophy lifts in 2019 and 2020 respectively – would have happened without the influence of their No 7. “He’s a role model,” the German manager said in April of this year. “I have told him, I can tell the whole world – nothing we have achieved in the last few years would have happened without James Milner, it’s as easy as that.
“Whether he was on the pitch or not, he’s set standards in a way not a lot of people can set standards, and it educated all of us.” Liverpool will look to strengthen their forward line this season. The fact they even spoke to Kylian Mbappe shows how intent they are to add further quality up top.
Strengthening the back-line doesn’t appear to be a priority with Ibrahima Konate offering another option to Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk while Joe Gomez is able to cover right-back and centre-back.
With Fabio Carvalho due to officially start his Liverpool career on July 1, any further overhaul in midfield could depend on the futures of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade Chamberlain made 29 appearances in a 63 game season and hasn’t played since the FA Cup win over Forest in March, while Minamino made just 24 appearances and both could look for more regular first-team opportunities. Oxlade Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract. It makes sense with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino entering the final year of their contracts while the potential departure of Sadio Mane, who has also got one year left on his deal, and Divock Origi having already decided to go, makes reinforcements in that area a priority. If Mane is to leave, Liverpool will only look to do business for a fee above the €30m that’s been quoted and they would want a replacement sorted before allowing him to go.
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