Fabrizio Romano reported on Twitter on Sunday afternoon that Brighton are close to completing a deal to sign James Milner from Liverpool on a free transfer – also stating that Leeds United were keen, but are set to miss out.
Milner, 37, was confirmed as leaving Liverpool last week after eight years – in which he has played a massive 331 times. On Saturday, the 61-time England star moved to within 14 games of Ryan Giggs’ League record of 632.
It looks as if Milner is going to stand a very solid chance of eclipsing that record, with a move to Brighton in the offing. The Seagulls have moved quickly ahead of the summer window, already landing Joao Pedro from Watford.
Now, they are keen to get a deal done to sign Milner on a free – ahead of Leeds. The Mail said that you could not rule Leeds out in a move to sign Milner. But Romano says it is pretty much done between Brighton and Milner.
Romano: Brighton close to completing Milner deal as Leeds miss out
A blow for Leeds. The bad news keeps coming with relegation now looking like an inevitability, rather than a worry. Of course, that is going to go hand in hand with targets – and the ‘exceptional’ star will not want to drop a division.
Especially, with the chance of breaking the all-time Premier League record for appearances. He sits 34 behind ex-Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton man Gareth Barry, who sits on top of the list with 652 outings in the PL.
The belief is that of course, Milner would love to return to his old club – back to where it all started. But while Brighton are in Europe and Leeds are likely to be in the Championship, he would prefer to move to the South Coast.