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Latest on Toure and Flanagan’s contracts, plus Liverpool’s Milner and Ings interest

James Milner and Danny Ings have both been linked with summer moves to Anfield, and James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo claims there is genuine interest in the duo.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 14, 2013: Manchester City's James Milner in action against Arsenal during the Premiership match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Milner and Ings

Speaking on AnfieldIndex‘s ‘RedRoom‘ podcast, Pearce said he doesn’t expect a huge amount of incoming deals this summer, but Milner and Ings are both very much on the transfer radar.

“The club are certainly interested in Milner, and they would be crazy not to be,” he said.

“He is very underrated and you can see him being a Brendan Rodgers type of player, given his energy, athleticism and versatility.

“Ings is also one where there is definite interest. Like Milner, he ticks a lot of the boxes Rodgers looks for in a player.

“In terms of other signings, there’s a lot of players being watched and scouts being dispatched around Europe, but it’s still very early days.

“I don’t think we’ll see eight or nine players signed like last summer; more like four or five.”

Expiring Contracts

Pearce also discussed the futures of several Liverpool players, including Joe Allen, Kolo Toure and Jon Flanagan – the latter two whose current deals expire this summer.

Pearce explained that: “[Brendan] Rodgers has no say in contract talks.

“Ian Ayre [chief executive] and Mike Gordon [club director] are the two main contract officials.”

SWANSEA, ENGLAND - Monday, March 16, 2015: Liverpool's Joe Allen after the 1-0 victory over Swansea City during the Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On Toure, Pearce explained: “I spoke to him recently and he said he’s got a really difficult decision to make.

“The club have offered him a 12-month extension, but does he want to finish his career as a squad player or playing every week somewhere else? He’s such an infectious and popular character I hope he stays.

On midfielder Allen, whose current deals run to 2017: “I don’t see Allen being an issue whatsoever.

“He’s in the early stages of talks and I expect him to sign a two or three year extension to his current deal. He wants to stay and Rodgers sees him as a key player going forward.

On local lad Flanagan, who has recently returned to full training after missing the whole of the campaign with a knee injury: “Flanagan is Liverpool through and through, and Rodgers sees him as a big part of the future too. He’s had a torrid year with injury, but a new contract should be sorted before the end of the season.”

Sturridge’s Form

Finally, Pearce spoke about the form of Daniel Sturridge, and whether Liverpool could actually finish second in the Premier League this season.

SWANSEA, ENGLAND - Monday, March 16, 2015: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge looks dejected against Swansea City during the Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Sturridge’s form is a concern, and it is a genuine question as to whether he starts on Sunday (against Man United). He’s just not stretching defenders like he can, and his movement is poor,” explained Pearce.

“Sometimes when you return from injury the adrenalin gets you through the first bit, as he showed when he came on against West Ham, but when you miss the amount of action he has, it’s bound to take time to get back to your top level.”

Asked about a potential top-two finish, Pearce said: “I think second has to be seen as achievable now. Momentum counts for a lot and Liverpool have got it and Man City haven’t.

“Although they still look likely to finish in the top two, if they slip up again there will be some City fans starting to sweat.

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Would you like to see Toure and Flanagan stay? Are you happy with Sturridge’s form? Let us know in the comments below.