James Milner has signed a new one-year contract extension at Liverpool until the summer of 2023.
The 36-year-old’s previous contract was due to expire at the end of this month and the midfielder had external offers from a Premier League club and two from abroad.
sky sports New understands Milner has accepted a reduced salary to sign a new contract that will take his time at Anfield to eight seasons.
“I am very happy to stay for another season,” Milner told Liverpool’s official website. “I never took playing for this club for granted and I never will.
“An overriding feeling for me – and vitally important in the process – was the belief that I could still contribute to the team. The gaffer was clear about what he was thinking and that was a big factor for me to extend my contract.
“As long as I can still play my part, it’s not something easy to give up. Last season was amazing, even if it didn’t have the ending we hoped for. But I think it won’t that make us all even hungrier for more success, to be honest I felt that after the parade and that played a part in my decision making too, it’s a unique club.
“Now that it’s signed, I can’t wait to get back with everyone, refocus and go again. It’s an awesome dressing room to be a part of.”
The deal was heavily prompted by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who was not ready to lose a player who made 39 appearances for the team last season.
Milner was offered the new contract before the end of the just-concluded campaign but decided to wait until the end of the season before deciding on his future.
The new contract also means Milner is likely to top 300 appearances for Liverpool next season, with the veteran midfielder 11 short of that milestone.
Earlier this year, Liverpool boss Klopp described Milner as a ‘role model’ at the club – and even went so far as to say that none of the Reds’ recent achievements – including their Champions League trophies and of the Premier League in 2019 and 2020 respectively – would have happened had it not been for the influence of their No.7.
“He’s a role model,” the German manager said in April this year. “I told him, I can tell the whole world – nothing we’ve achieved in the last few years would have happened without James Milner, it’s as simple as that.
“Whether he’s on the pitch or not, he set standards in a way that few can set, and that educated us all.”
What positions are Liverpool targeting this summer?
Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor:
Liverpool will look to strengthen their line ahead of this season. The fact that they even spoke to Kylian Mbappe shows how determined they are to add quality up top.
It makes sense with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino entering the final year of their contracts while the potential departure of Sadio Mane, who also has a year left on his contract, and Divock Origi having already decided to leave, make reinforcements in this area a priority. If Mane is to leave, Liverpool will only be looking to do business for more than the €30m that have been quoted and they would want a replacement sorted before allowing him to leave.
With Fabio Carvalho due to officially start his Liverpool career on July 1, any further midfield overhaul could hinge on the future of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade Chamberlain has made 29 appearances in a 63-game season and hasn’t played since the FA Cup win over Forest in March, while Minamino has made just 24 appearances and both could be looking for opportunities more regular in the first team. Oxlade Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract.
Strengthening the backline doesn’t appear to be a priority, with Ibrahima Konate giving Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk another option while Joe Gomez is able to cover at right-back and centre-back.