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Done deal Outgoing Liverpool star confirms Klopp wanted him to stay but club chose otherwise



Done deal Outgoing Liverpool star confirms Klopp wanted him to stay but club chose otherwise

James Milner is moving on from Liverpool this summer (Picture: Getty Images)

James Milner will make his last Liverpool appearance when the Reds take on Southampton on Sunday, despite Jurgen Klopp wanting to keep the veteran at Anfield.

The 37-year-old has been with Liverpool since 2015, making over 300 appearances for the club and winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup, among others.

It has been a hugely successful spell for the England international but it comes to an end when his contract runs out and he will move on at the end of the season.

Reds boss Klopp wanted Milner to stay on longer, but the versatile player says the club’s hierarchy felt differently, although he accepts their decision.

‘It’s all good because the manager wanted to keep me – which as a player is what you want,’ he said.

‘Obviously the club decided a different way. In my head it felt like it could be a good time, so I’m content with how it’s all come about

‘It was probably about three weeks ago that I heard from the club. Because I hadn’t heard anything, in my own mind I had probably decided myself that I would be going.

‘I will continue to play football, so yes I could be back in front of the Kop potentially. It’s an option.’

Milner is expected to sign for Brighton and continue his playing career past his 38th birthday which comes round in January.

After that he is considering going into management, although admits he is not entirely convinced about the prospect yet, despite earning his coaching badges while he still plays.

‘Some days I think I’d love a go at management – and then other days you see a manager sign a new contract and six weeks later they get sacked,’ he said. ‘That’s when you think “maybe the golf course is a better option!”

‘We’ll see. Doing my badges has helped me learn and I’ve played under some unbelievable managers.

‘I’ve played under some poor ones as well! But you can still learn from them.’

MORE : Ruben Amorim speaks out on Chelsea and Liverpool target Manuel Ugarte’s future

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Liverpool agrees transfer with Athletic Bilbao as Real Madrid told Jürgen Klopp man not for sale

Welcome to the daily Media Digest. From transfers to tweets, it can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the Anfield sphere. Credible, incredible and anything in between: we round it all up in one place here, taking a sideways look at the day’s media goings-on from around the world.


Liverpool loses promising talent

Liverpool is close to selling teenager Elijah Gift to Athletic Bilbao, according to The Athletic. The La Liga side is in ‘advanced’ talks with the Reds over a deal that will apparently be worth around $1.2m (£1m/€1.1m), with a deal essentially agreed.

READ MORE: Liverpool may have got Champions League via Pep Guardiola as Jürgen Klopp hints at transfer exit

READ MORE: Liverpool already watched ideal transfer who can be $43m Jürgen Klopp version of Bruno Fernandes

Liverpool initially wanted to keep hold of Gift but ultimately decided to let him go for a couple of reasons. The club recognizes the volume of competition for young attackers and believed that Bilbao’s offer was a strong one.

The raft of emerging talent at the club also includes the likes of Ben Doak, Kaide Gordon and Trent Kone-Doherty. Gift was born in the Basque region of Spain, like every other player in the club’s ranks.

He joined Liverpool from Huddersfield’s academy in 2017 and scored three goals and provided three assists in 19 appearances for the under-18 side.

Andy Robertson going nowhere

Liverpool has ruled out a move away for left-back Andy Robertson this summer, according to The Athletic, despite The Scottish Daily Mail reporting this week that Real Madrid had identified Robertson as a potential target for the summer transfer window.

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Real Madrid wants a replacement for the injury-hit Ferland Mendy and has been rebuffed by Bayern Munich after showing an interest in Alphonso Davies. It was suggested that Robertson would cost ‘well in excess of $49m (£40m/€46m)’, with more than three years left on his contract.

Liverpool has recently moved towards a new system that sees Trent Alexander-Arnold move into midfield and Robertson occupy a more defensive role.

However, there was no indication that the Scotsman, signed from Hull City in 2017, is unhappy at the club. And now ‘senior Anfield sources’ have poured cold water on any notion that Robertson might be on the move.

The 29-year-old is regarded as a ‘pivotal figure in the dressing room’, having led the team out as captain on two occasions this season.

Robertson, a key contributor to the club’s Premier League and Champions League triumphs under Jürgen Klopp, has assisted 11 goals this season in all competitions. Only Mohamed Salah (15) can better that tally in the Reds’ ranks.

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