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James Milner: Liverpool midfielder signs new one-year contract at Anfield and accepts reduced personal terms

Milner's previous deal was due to expire at the end of this month; the 36-year-old had external offers from one Premier League club and two from overseas; the midfielder has accepted reduced personal terms in signing this new contract

James Milner, Liverpool
Image: Liverpool midfielder James Milner has extended his deal at Anfield

James Milner has signed a new one-year contract extension at Liverpool until the summer of 2023.

The 36-year-old's previous deal was due to expire at the end of this month and the midfielder had external offers from one Premier League club and two from overseas.

Sky Sports News understands Milner has accepted a reduced wage packet to sign a new contract that will take his time at Anfield to eight seasons.

"I'm very pleased to be staying for another season," Milner told the Liverpool official website. "I have never taken playing for this club for granted and I never will.

"An overriding feeling for me - and a vitally important one in the process - was the belief I can still contribute to the team. The gaffer was clear what he thought and that was a big factor in me extending my contract.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) and James Milner in discussion during a training session at the AXA Training Centre, Kirkby. Picture date: Monday October 18, 2021.
Image: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) and James Milner in discussion during a training session

"As long as I can still play my part, that's not something easy to walk away from. Last season was extraordinary, even though it didn't have the ending we hoped it would. But I think that will only 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 also. It's a unique club.

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"Now this is signed, I'm already looking forward to getting back with everyone, refocusing and going again. It's a brilliant dressing room to be part of."

The deal was very much driven by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who was not prepared to lose a player who made 39 appearances for the team last season.

Milner was offered the new contract before the end of the campaign just finished but decided to wait until the end of the season before deciding on his future.

Milner played 39 times for Liverpool last season
Image: Milner played 39 times for Liverpool last season

The new contract also means Milner is likely to surpass 300 appearances for Liverpool next season, with the veteran midfielder 11 away from that milestone.

Earlier this year, Liverpool boss Klopp described Milner as a "role model" at the club - and even went as far to say that none of the Reds' recent achievements - including their Champions League and Premier League trophy lifts in 2019 and 2020 respectively - would have happened without the influence of their No 7.

"He's a role model," the German manager said in April of this year. "I have told him, I can tell the whole world - nothing we have achieved in the last few years would have happened without James Milner, it's as easy as that.

"Whether he was on the pitch or not, he's set standards in a way not a lot of people can set standards, and it educated all of us."

What positions are Liverpool targeting this summer?

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O'Connor:

Liverpool will look to strengthen their forward line this season. The fact they even spoke to Kylian Mbappe shows how intent they are to add further 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 has also got one year left on his deal, and Divock Origi having already decided to go, makes reinforcements in that area a priority. If Mane is to leave, Liverpool will only look to do business for a fee above the €30m that's been quoted and they would want a replacement sorted before allowing him to go.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah celebrate a Liverpool goal
Image: Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah (right)

With Fabio Carvalho due to officially start his Liverpool career on July 1, any further overhaul in midfield could depend on the futures of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. Oxlade Chamberlain made 29 appearances in a 63 game season and hasn't played since the FA Cup win over Forest in March, while Minamino made just 24 appearances and both could look for more regular first-team opportunities. Oxlade Chamberlain is another player with just one year left on his contract.

Strengthening the back-line doesn't appear to be a priority with Ibrahima Konate offering another option to Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk while Joe Gomez is able to cover right-back and centre-back.

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