Liverpool midfielder James Milner to join Brighton on free transfer as eight-year Anfield stay draws to a close
- 37-year-old's Reds deal expires in June
- Brighton have beaten Burnley and others to his signature
- Liverpool asked vice-captain to reconsider
WHAT HAPPENED? The Seagulls have beaten off competition from at least three other clubs, including Championship winners Burnley, to land the 37-year-old, whose deal at Anfield expires at the end of this season.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Milner will now bring an end to his eight-year stay on Merseyside, where he has made 328 appearances and won six major honours. It is understood that while Jurgen Klopp was keen to keep him at Anfield for another season, there were no formal talks between Milner and club officials, with Brighton making a convincing pitch to the veteran, who will now join up with ex-Reds teammate Adam Lallana at the Amex Stadium next season. Liverpool, GOAL understands, recently asked Milner to reconsider his decision to leave, but the deal with Brighton is now virtually complete.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Milner will join Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino in leaving Liverpool for free this summer, as Klopp embarks upon one of the biggest transfer windows of his tenure. The Reds are interested in signing Brighton and Argentina star Alexis Mac Allister, as well as Chelsea's Mason Mount, while there have been strong links to Bayern Munich's Ryan Gravenberch recently, with Klopp making no secret of his desire to add first-team signings this summer.
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WHAT NEXT FOR MILNER & LIVERPOOL? The Reds still have four games to play this season, starting at Anfield against Brentford on Saturday (17:30 GMT). Milner's final home game for the club could be against former club Aston Villa on Saturday May 20 (15:00 GMT).