Liverpool have confirmed the signing of James Milner, who will join the club when his contract at Manchester City expires on 1 July.
The England international has been plying his trade at the Etihad Stadium since the summer of 2010, and he helped the Blues end their 35-year wait for silverware although he was an unused substitute in the 1-0 FA Cup final win over Stoke City in 2011. He played his part in their two title wins of 2012 and 2014, but also missed out as they won the League Cup last season.
Although he racked up a total of 181 appearances during his time in Manchester, Milner was never considered a first team must so with his contract drawing to a close this summer, he was always likely to have a big decision. And although City are thought to have offered him around £165,000-per-week, the 29-year-old has snubbed this offer and taken less to head to Anfield.
Liverpool confirmed on their official club website on Thursday: “Liverpool Football Club are delighted to announce they have agreed a deal to sign Manchester City’s James Milner, subject to a medical. The Reds have agreed personal terms with the England international, who will join the club on a free transfer on 1 July after his contract at the Etihad Stadium has expired.”
It is believed Milner, who will earn £150,000-per-week on Merseyside, was lured to the club by the likelihood of regular first team action in his preferred central midfield role. With Steven Gerrard quitting the Reds to continue his career in the United States with LA Galaxy, there is even a suggestion he could get the nod over Jordan Henderson to take the captaincy next season.
“Brendan Rodgers will have spoken to him about where he sees him fitting in but he’s very similar to Jordan Henderson,” Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher wrote on Kicca last week. “The fact that Brendan Rodgers wouldn’t confirm Jordan as captain makes me think him and Milner could be competing for the armband. Was that another thing that enticed Milner to join?”
Milner was also thought to be a target for Arsenal, but his move to Anfield will mean he doesn’t have to uproot from the north west where he is settled with his family. The player began his career at Leeds United, before moving on to Newcastle United and Aston Villa, before heading to Manchester City in a £24million deal. He has 53 caps for England, and has scored once.