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Liverpool Considering Move for James Milner

Liverpool's contingent of English internationals at the World Cup could increase by one if James Milner finds his way to Merseyside.

Laurence Griffiths

When Roy Hodgson announced his squad for the World Cup last week, five Liverpool players were named to it, six if you count Jon Flanagan's standby status, and seven if you count your chickens before they're hatched and include the possibility that Adam Lallana might transfer to Liverpool. Aside from what this says about the volume of talent currently in Liverpool's side, it also speaks volumes towards how the club has developed and nurtured English players in a way not every EPL side has.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Manchester City's propensity for spending millions of pounds on foreign talent has been a source of ire for the rest of the Premier League (save for Chelsea) for the past few seasons, but it's a tactic that is beginning to look like it might backfire in spite of the two titles it's won in the past three seasons. No, it's not a Financial Fair Play issue but one of running aground of UEFA's homegrown talent rules. With a handful of City's English players allegedly set to leave this summer, the team is in danger of not meeting UEFA's homegrown player quota.

One such player is James Milner, who has reportedly put in a transfer request to the Manchester City brass. Citing disappointment over playing time and position, Milner, who signed with City in 2010, made just twelve starts in 2013/14 and rarely in his preferred central midfield role. Milner became a point of Premier League trivia this year when it was announced he was City's only English player to score a goal this season, thus underlining the dire situation going on at the Etihad.

According to the Guardian, Arsenal, fresh off their first trophy win in nine years, are allegedly planning a £10m bid for Milner, while Liverpool are still considering whether or not to pursue him amongst all their other midfield targets.

It's not a bad consideration for Liverpool to have in the mix with other options. For all the stick Milner often gets, he'd be a decent squad player for Liverpool and would provide additional senior leadership and Champions League experience to a still very young Reds side. They could certainly do worse.

What's not so clear is whether or not this would be an attractive prospect for Milner. Discontentment at City over playing time and position wouldn't necessarily change after a move to Merseyside, as he wouldn't necessarily be a knocked-on starter and Brendan Rodgers has been clear about wanting flexible players who are happy to play wherever he needs them to. Milner's problems at City, then, might just as easily replicate themselves at Liverpool.

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