James Milner appears set to leave Manchester City when his contract expires, with Anfield or the Emirates Stadium his likely next destination.
The England international’s current deal at the Etihad Stadium will run out at the end of next month, although the Blues remain determined to retain his services. It has been reported that the recently dethroned champions have offered the 29-year-old a weekly salary worth up to £160,000, which is more than the terms they tabled to him last year when initial discussions opened.
This is more than most clubs could offer, but Milner has always been more concerned with playing time, something which can’t be guaranteed in a squad of such high-quality to that at the disposal of Manuel Pellegrini. Yet he has enjoyed a good campaign in this regard, making 27 starts in all competitions compared to the 21 he made during the successful 2013/14 edition.
The former Leeds United youngster has also been given the chance to impress in the big matches, starting in six of their eight UEFA Champions League fixtures compared to three in the same number last season. He also started all six matches against the other three clubs in the Premier League’s top four: champions Chelsea, neighbours United and second-place rivals Arsenal.
But he could be lining up for the latter against City next season, as it has been widely reported that he is considering the chance to join the Gunners on a free transfer this summer. And although Liverpool are also an option, Arsene Wenger will feel confident as he is able to offer the former Newcastle United and Aston Villa midfielder the continued involvement in the Champions League.
Have Manchester City done all they can to keep hold of James Milner, and if he does decide his future lies elsewhere, is he better off at Arsenal or Liverpool?