James Milner made a suggestion that the decision not to extend his contract may have been made by Liverpool’s hierarchy rather the manager Jurgen Klopp.
After joining the Reds from Manchester City in 2015, the 37-year-old is expected to leave the club as a free agent.
The Premier League and Champions League trophies were among the many awards Milner won while playing for Liverpool, making him one of the team’s most decorated players.
However, Milner was still very much a part of Klopp’s plans for next season before a decision was made for the player to move on, according to an interview with LFCTV, even though the midfielder is eager for new challenges.
“It would be a shame to give up when you still have some life in you,” Milner said to the club’s television station.
“Jurgen Klopp is a pretty good manager, and it’s encouraging that he still wanted me here and said I can do the job,” said the player.
The player continued, “I haven’t started a ton of games this year, but I feel like I have contributed when I have been asked to.
“The club clearly decided on that. It’s great that I’m in a situation where my manager wanted me to stay, but I finally came to terms with it.”
On Saturday, when the Reds took on Aston Villa, Milner played in his final game at Anfield. He replaced Jordan Henderson in the game at the 72-minute mark.
Following the final whistle, Milner and other departing players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino, and Naby Keita were given a guard of honor by their teammates.
Milner appeared visibly moved as he waved goodbye to Merseyside, and supporters unfurled banners in honor of the departing midfielder.
After Firmino scored the equalizer to keep Liverpool’s slim hopes of competing in the Champions League next season alive, Klopp said that Firmino and Milner’s performances against Villa had “shown what we will miss.”
Milner has not yet indicated where he will play for the upcoming campaign, but Brighton is reportedly in advanced talks with the midfielder as they look to add reinforcements as they get ready to play in Europe.
Leeds are reportedly interested in bringing their academy grad back to Elland Road, but negotiations will probably depend on the team’s status in the Premier League.
Leeds currently sit in the relegation zone with one game remaining in the season, having picked up just two points in their previous eight games.