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Rodgers Staying Key to Milner Joining Liverpool

Liverpool's first signing of the summer reportedly sought assurances that Brendan Rodgers would remain as manager before agreeing to move from Manchester City.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Well, this is something for those who claim that Brendan Rodgers' presence as manager doesn't make a difference to players wanting to join the club. The signing of James Milner has been an early bit of business from the club, and although the Leeds native will command a lucrative salary, he represents a significant step in the right direction for a club in need of players ready to work net season. Interestingly, reports arrived that James Milner would have reconsidered his willingness to join Liverpool in the event of Rodgers losing his job.

Managerial stability is important for players who make a move in search of a specific change of fortunes. For Milner, regular first-team football and a place in central midfield pushed him to leave Manchester City despite a generous offer to stay. The offer of £165,000 is a sign of intent whether incentives are built into the contract or not, but for a 29-year-old player who could still provide excellent service for at least two to three seasons, that was not enough. It seems that Milner trusted Rodgers to provide the changes the former Aston Villa player was looking for, and probably ends suggestions that this was a move forced on the manager.

It's a good sign that a player who can provide greater energy as well as experience to the midfield believes that Rodgers, despite some areas where he must improve on next season, can be trusted with what could be the best years of his career. This certainly feels like a last big move for Milner, a chance to be a crucial component at a big Premier League club. Many Liverpool fans felt a change was needed after a disappointing third season under former Swansea City manager, and speculation on potential replacements centred on two high-profile managers who became available at the end of their respective seasons in Germany and Spain. Both are on confirmed breaks but will cast a tempting shadow if improvements are not seen next season.

Also, there have been positive words from incoming Belgian striker Divock Origi on looking forward to working with "a world-class coach" in Rodgers, and it is hoped that the faith of these players will shine through next season as Liverpool meet the goals that weren't met in 2014/15. Of course, there are more players to be signed first who will need to be able to assist the manager in pushing the club forward. Brendan Rodgers could revive his own reputation by repeating an attacking formula that shone for 18 months before coming undone.

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