LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 27, 2021: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson passes the rainbow captain's armband to substitute James Milner as he is substituted during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jordan Henderson leads new contract call for “massive” James Milner

With James Milner set for contract talks with Liverpool ahead of the expiry of his current deal this summer, captain Jordan Henderson has backed him to stay.

As it stands, Milner is preparing for the final game of his seven years with the Reds, which comes on the biggest stage with a Champions League final against Real Madrid.

But while Divock Origi has already been given his Anfield send-off, with Jurgen Klopp leading the tributes to the long-serving goalscoring legend, there was no fanfare for the No. 7.

That is due to planned talks with Milner over an extension to his contract that currently runs to July 1, with the club expected to offer the 36-year-old a new one-year deal.

While Milner’s minutes on the pitch are gradually decreasing, he has remained an important player for Klopp, making 39 appearances so far this campaign, with it clear he is still able to offer plenty on and off the pitch.

And speaking to This Is Anfield ahead of the Champions League final, Henderson expressed his hope that Milner would sign on for “at least another year.”

“[How valuable is his experience?] Massive. The experience Milly brings is incredible,” the captain said.

“On the pitch, he’s still performing. I feel like over the last few weeks he’s played he’s been amazing in the games.

“Obviously, he brings an awful lot off the pitch and in the dressing room as well.

“So he’s a huge player for us and this team.

“Fingers crossed he can get it sorted and we’ll see him for at least another year next year.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 19, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp speaks with James Milner during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Milner was at one stage reported to be earning around £120,000 a week at Liverpool, though having signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract at the end of 2019 it is unclear whether that has since changed.

While that would no longer place him among the club’s highest earners – as was the case when he joined on a free transfer from Man City – it is unlikely Fenway Sports Group would sign off on an extension on the same terms.

But the hope will be that a compromise could be found with a player who has proved invaluable to Klopp’s squad, with his influence off the pitch as crucial as his input on it.

The partnership he has struck with Henderson within Liverpool’s leadership group will be difficult to recapture with new faces, and that may be the deciding factor as manager and captain lobby for an extended stay.