Sunday 23 October 2016

Liverpool agree deal to sign James Milner from Man City

Manchester City's James Milner
Manchester City's James Milner

Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign Manchester City midfielder James Milner, subject to a medical.

Personal terms have been negotiated and the 29-year-old will join on a free transfer on July 1 after his contract expires at the Etihad Stadium.

The England international, who has won 53 caps, will add some much-needed experience to a midfield which, for the first time in 17 years will be without captain Steven Gerrard as he begins a new career in Major League Soccer with Los Angeles Galaxy.

"Liverpool Football Club are delighted to announce they have agreed a deal to sign Manchester City's James Milner, subject to a medical," the club said a statement.

"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 is reported to have turned down better terms offered by City in order to move to Anfield, where he believes he can play more regularly after making just 18 league starts last season.

The former Aston Villa and Newcastle midfielder is understood to want more opportunities in his favoured central position, rather than being utilised out wide or even, on the rare occasion, up front by Manuel Pellegrini.

Gerrard's departure would appear to offer such an opening in Brendan Rodgers' side.

Another out-of-contract signing in the form of Burnley striker Danny Ings is expected to be next through the door, although he will not be a free transfer as the Clarets are entitled to compensation as he is only 22.

If Liverpool cannot agree an adequate deal with the recently-relegated Barclays Premier League club then his value will be determined by a tribunal.

However, the club's negotiations with some of their current players are not going so well.

Raheem Sterling's refusal to sign a £100,000-a-week contract back in January has led to an increasingly acrimonious stand-off between the two parties which resulted in the club cancelling scheduled talks with the player and his agent Aidy Ward last month.

Newly-appointed Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez, who took Sterling to Anfield when he was Liverpool boss, said on Wednesday of the player: "We admire Raheem, that's no secret - but he is not one of our players so I can't really comment on him."

A report today suggested Manchester United were ready to make a speculative £25million bid but a couple of weeks ago the Red Devils were not interested in the 20-year-old and it is unlikely that position has altered.

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is stalling on signing a new deal after appearing to have been offended by the performance-related terms.

Speaking to Slovakian outlet Aktualne the 30-year-old reportedly said: "It's unacceptable for me. I think that such contracts are offered to players who are much older than me or players who have had some health problems.

"The contract, which was presented to me, makes me uneasy, so I did not sign it.

"There has been some speculation about the interest of other clubs in me, but they are currently being addressed."

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