James Milner has just over two months left on his contract with Liverpool, and though a summer exit seems likely at this stage, he has been offered a new deal.
Milner has been one of the few constants of Jurgen Klopp‘s time at Liverpool, with only eight members of the current squad having been with the club upon the German’s appointment.
But while Klopp signed a new two-year extension to his contract on Thursday, as it stands the veteran midfielder is due to depart on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Along with Divock Origi and Loris Karius, Milner’s terms expire on July 1, and though there has been little speculation over a move, his exit would become a reality unless he puts pen to paper in the near future.
However, according to the Mirror‘s David Maddock, the No. 7 was “offered a one-year extension at the beginning of the year.”
Whether this was solely based on Klopp’s comments from February, in which the manager revealed talks had taken place between himself, the club and Milner, is unclear.
But that Maddock specifically mentioned the terms of an offer would suggest that he has received more information than simply reading between the lines.
Goal‘s Neil Jones has also opined that the “smart money” on Milner extending his stay at Anfield to 2023, by which point he would be 37 and have played 21 seasons as a senior professional.
Although Milner’s role has been gradually decreased within Klopp’s squad, he is still an important player, particularly in his position as vice-captain.
Eighteen players have clocked more minutes than him so far this season, but with 34 outings in all competitions, Milner places within Liverpool’s top 11 in terms of appearances made.
He has featured in more games than Thiago, Naby Keita, Roberto Firmino, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones and Takumi Minamino, with his availability a major positive when considering a possible extension.
There have been minor injuries, but none to the extent of Firmino, for example, who appears to be showing signs of his body catching up with him at 30.
One certainty at this point is that Milner will not retire at the end of the campaign, with both the player and Klopp stressing that his intention is to play on.
“I am taking my football coaching badges, but my only intention at present is to play football for as long as I can,” Milner said in February.
“Us footballers are retired from football for a long time.”