Liverpool midfielder James Milner has appeared to reveal that the club overruled manager Jurgen Klopp in deciding against offering him a new contract.
The 37-year-old will leave Anfield this summer upon the expiry of his current deal, having joined from Manchester City in 2015.
He has won seven Premier League trophies with the Reds, and risen to third place on the list of the top division’s appearance holders since 1992.
Milner began this campaign by adding another trophy to his cabinet, with Liverpool defeating City to win the Community Shield.
But the Reds failed to lift more silverware this term, and Milner is among five players that will leave the club at the end of their contracts this summer. Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are departing as free agents, while Arthur Melo will return to Juventus upon the expiry of his loan deal.
Out of the five players, only Milner appears set, at this stage, to remain in the Premier League. TheDaily Mailclaim that he is in talks with Brighton, while Leeds are also interested in signing their former academy graduate – if they remain in the top flight.
Speaking ahead of his Liverpool departure, Milner praised Reds boss Klopp – and said that the German wanted him to stay at Anfield.
Milner on Liverpool exit
In an interview withLFCTV(quotes viaLiverpool Echo), Milner explained that Klopp expressed his confidence that the midfielder could still play a role next season – but the club decided not to offer him fresh terms.
He said: “It would be a shame to stop when you’ve still got a bit of life in you. Jurgen Klopp is a pretty good manager and the fact he still wanted me here and said I can do a job is pleasing.
“I haven’t started a load of games this year, but I feel like I have contributed when I have been asked to.
“The club obviously made their decision on that. It’s nice I’m in a position where the manager wanted me to stay, but it got to the point where I got to terms [with it].”
Football Insiderclaimed in March that Klopp was in favour of offering Milner a new contract, and expressed his view to that end to Liverpool chiefs.
But he will now depart the Reds after eight years at the club – and he could face his former team-mates next season.