Senior Liverpool Player Rejected Offers From Aston Villa And Newcastle To Stay At Anfield
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James Milner has rejected offers from both Newcastle and Aston Villa to stay at Anfield next season, according to football website Goal. Liverpool have just announced that Milner has signed a one year contract extension with the club.
Milner, who was recently made an MBE in the 2022 Birthday Honours, struggled to find a regular place in Liverpool’s starting Xl last season, making 15 of his 24 appearances in the 2021/2022 Premier League season off the bench. However, the 36 year old Ribena enthusiast is said to be a crucial component of Klopp’s squad and has been vice captain since his arrival in 2015. The Boring James Milner twitter account has celebrated the new contract as it will allow James to make full use of the tea bags in the club’s canteen. Klopp’s reasoning may be slightly more complex.
Milner’s versatility is a critical reason behind Klopp’s desire to keep him at the club. He is capable of playing at full-back, in central midfield and, if necessary, on the wing.
Milner’s impressive fitness dates back to his youth, he was the cross-country champion at his school for three consecutive years and has now played 20 seasons of Premier League football without sustaining a serious injury. Last year, at the age of 35, he ran five and a half miles in just 34 minutes during pre-season. Despite being 36, Milner still has the fitness to be an important asset to one of world football’s best sides.
Both Aston Villa and Newcastle have significant financial backing. Villa are partly owned by Egypt’s wealthiest man, Nassef Sawiris, while Newcastle were, of course, recently acquired by the Saudi Arabian government’s sovereign wealth fund. Both clubs could have provided Milner with a substantial wage to end his career but the 36 year old seemingly thinks there is still work to be done in Merseyside.
Milner is also reported to have turned down a number of offers from MLS sides. If Milner decided to make the move across the Atlantic he would be a regular feature in any MLS starting lineup next season. Evidently the Premier League veteran would prefer to be a versatile squad player for a top club.