Nottingham Forest have suffered a blow after learning that Liverpool midfielder James Milner has agreed a deal to join Brighton and Hove Albion, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.
What’s the latest on Milner’s future?
The Premier League veteran’s contract at Anfield is set to expire at the end of the season, and whilst the Reds reportedly do intend to offer him an extension, it’s not something that’s high on their list of priorities, meaning it’s likely that he will become a free agent in the summer.
According to 90min, Evangelos Marinakis and Steve Cooper were interested in a deal to recruit the 37-year-old alongside top-flight rivals Leeds United, with both clubs hoping that he would wait until the conclusion of the campaign to make a decision on his future, but it would appear that he’s already secured his next destination.
Taking to Twitter, Romano revealed that Milner is expected to sign for Brighton on a free transfer ahead of the 2023/24 term, with the Seagulls having moved quickly to get this deal over the line. He wrote:
“Brighton are set to sign James Milner, here we go — the final proposal and all the clauses have been accepted. Deal will be valid until June 2024. Milner will join Brighton on free transfer from Liverpool; second signing imminent after João Pedro deal completed.”
Is Milner joining Brighton a blow to Forest?
Milner isn’t getting any younger so he would have only been a short-term signing for Forest, but with the leadership qualities that he could have added to the squad being Liverpool’s vice-captain, alongside his “aggressive” style of play, as lauded by journalist Josh Bunting, Cooper has definitely suffered a transfer blow by missing out.
The Merseyside central midfielder, who has bags of experience at this level having clocked up 615 appearances in the top-flight, has won 12 tackles from 22 players challenged this season so isn’t afraid to get stuck in and win back possession for his team, but is equally a threat going forward, posting 221 goal contributions since the start of his professional career.
England’s former international will also knows what it takes to compete and be successful having secured 12 trophies since bursting onto the scene, not to mention that he’s also participated in the likes of the Champions and Europa League, alongside the World Cup for the Three Lions, as per Transfermarkt.
Finally, Milner would have brought unbelievable versatility to the Midlands with his ability to operate in a remarkable 11 various positions all across the pitch, but a deal clearly just wasn’t meant to be at the City Ground.