Two of Liverpool’s senior players this season are to be given contract extensions after the Champions League final: James Milner and Joel Matip.
The Reds have a huge task ahead of them in Madrid this weekend, with the squad aiming to end an excellent season with the biggest piece of silverware of all.
A sixth European Cup would be a brilliant way to end the campaign—but regardless of the outcome there, two players are set to be rewarded for their contributions during 2018/19 with extended deals, reports Chris Bascombe of the Telegraph.
Milner might be 33 years of age, but he has again played a prominent role in Liverpool’s midfield.
Jurgen Klopp is happy to offer the squad veteran a one-year extension, keeping him until 2021 at least, as it seems the Reds will judge him on a sensible season-by-season basis.
The No. 7 has played 2,800 minutes this season, placing him 10th in the squad, and he has filled in once again both in midfield and at full-back.
Still the club’s vice-captain, Milner has had to bide his time on occasions when all midfielders are fit, but it’s noticeable that while others have had spells on the sidelines, Milner has ploughed on, available for almost every league game this season.
He missed a handful of games across Christmas and one match suspended, but has featured in every Champions League matchday squad this season, playing all but the home win over Red Star.
Matip started the campaign a squad option at centre-back, with Joe Gomez partnering Virgil van Dijk, but when opportunity knocked in the second half of the season, the Cameroonian was ready and willing.
He has been a massive part of the Reds’ impressive team in 2019, showing the best form of his Anfield career by far—and the most reliable, too.
Big performances against the likes of Napoli and Chelsea solidified his status as first-choice once Gomez and Dejan Lovren rediscovered fitness and he’s sure to start the final in Madrid.
Like Milner, Matip only had a single season left on his contract after this summer, but at 27 years of age still has plenty of years left in him.
The key for him will be to maintain this level into next season and beyond—but an extension will be just reward for a campaign where he has stepped up enormously.