Liverpool have been urged to end the ‘strange’ uncertainty over James Milner’s future and offer their vice-captain a new contract.
The 33-year-old midfielder has revealed he is unsure about his long-term future at Anfield, having entered the final 12 months of his current deal.
Following Sunday’s feisty pre-season defeat to Sevilla in Boston, Milner said he ‘hasn’t heard anything’ from the club about a possible extension and manager Jurgen Klopp hinted his age may be the issue.
Milner, who arrived in a free transfer from Manchester City in 2015, is the oldest member of the Liverpool squad and yet still plays an important role in Klopp’s team.
The former England man made 45 appearances last season, with seven goals and seven assists, as the Reds were crowned Champions League winners.
His fitness and endurance has become something of a Premier League legend – Milner yet again proved himself as the most physically fit player in the Reds squad by topping the club’s pre-season fitness tests this summer.
Asked about his situation, Milner said on Sunday: “Everyone pipes on about my age and stuff, and I understand you are going to get that. But there are three things to it: availability, fitness and performance level. Hopefully I am delivering all three.”
His performances this season are surely a testament to that, and former Premier League striker Clinton Morrison believes it’s a no brainer to keep the experienced midfeidler at Anfield.
“It’s a strange decision and I don’t agree with it,” Morrison told talkSPORT host Jim White on Monday.
“When you get to a certain age, if you’re still delivering on a regular basis then you’re entitled to earn that contract.
“He’s 33, and look at how many games Milner played last season – he’s still one of the fittest around.
“Is he one of the fittest at Liverpool? I can guarantee you in all the testing, James Milner will win everything when it comes to weights, running and covering the miles on the pitch. I can guarantee you on a match day he probably does the most running out of all the players.
“I bet if you speak to Jurgen Klopp, he would say get the deal done as a soon as possible, it’s the hierarchy.
“The same is happening with Danny Rose at Tottenham, he’s 29 and the hierarchy are saying they don’t want to give him a new contract because of his age and he can find a new club.
“It’s strange to me, because I would have seven or eight James Milners in my team.
“You know what you’re going to get week-in week-out, he’ll always give you a seven or eight out of ten, his performances never dip and you can ask him to play numerous positions and he’ll play there and never moan about it.
“He’s someone you want at your club – all the players will want him to stay and I know Liverpool fans will want to keep James Milner.
“It needs to be sorted out because there will come a time when his contract will run down, he’ll be a free transfer and there’ll be a lot of clubs who will want him.
“He’s a special player. He’s technically really good on the ball and you need players like James Milner who are going to do the hard work and let those special players create stuff and open it up.
“He’ll probably play a lot of games this season, Klopp trusts him and he produces.
“I think it will be sorted out, but why is it taking so long?”