James Milner has hinted that he may continue playing football beyond this season, describing himself as “fortunate” to be at an club like Liverpool.
Liverpool’s vice-captain hasn’t ruled out extending his career at the club, with his current deal set to expire this summer.
Speaking after receiving an MBE at Windsor Castle on Tuesday, the 37-year-old made it clear that he is still relishing his football and that there may yet be more to come.
“It’s easy to say yes after the result we had at the weekend, obviously,” Milner told Sky Sports when asked whether he is still enjoying his playing career.
?? "It's easy to say yes after the result we had at the weekend." ?
James Milner answers whether he still enjoys playing football at 37 years of age pic.twitter.com/jF0s7xZZZL
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 7, 2023
“But yeah, for sure. I was speaking to [Chris Kamara] before and he was saying you should play as long as you can.
“I feel very fortunate to be playing at an amazing club like Liverpool, with the team I’m playing with.
“I feel like I can still contribute and feel good physically the majority of days, so I’ll keep working hard.
“I just want to keep contributing to a massive club like Liverpool and hopefully make an impact both on and off the field.”
Milner accepted a one-year extension to his contract, on reduced terms, in June, and has previously admitted that he is working towards a career as a coach in the future.
The Yorkshireman has been seen on the sidelines during academy fixtures, and even appeared in the dugout during an injury layoff last season.
But the focus appears, for now, to remain on playing, with Milner indicating that he would be open to staying at Liverpool beyond the end of the current campaign.
In terms of game time, the veteran midfielder has still been a regular this term, with only six players featuring in more games (30) while he has clocked more minutes (1,001) than Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined.
Whether that is enough to convince to stay at Anfield for 2023/24 remains to be seen – as does the stance of the club, with Jurgen Klopp admitting he has “different plans” to his vice-captain when speaking in January.
“We have different plans for Milly, but Milly wants to keep playing,” the manager said.
Klopp added: “Even a player who has had a few clubs can end up, in the end, at his club.
“And I would consider Liverpool as his club, and that means that I’m pretty sure the club should use this character and mindset, because it’s really special.”
Those words point to an intention to eventually move Milner into an off-field role, which may jar with the player’s ambitions beyond this campaign.
Any decision over his future, however, is likely to be made towards the end of the season – or even after its final game.