Everton could now make a shock move for three-time Premier League winner James Milner, who could depart rivals Liverpool for free this summer.
Milner’s current deal at Anfield is due to expire at the end of the current campaign, and with talks yet to get underway over a contract extension, the 37-year-old is attracting interest from elsewhere.
Indeed, Everton are just one of a number of clubs who are reportedly interested in the former England international, with Brighton & Hove Albion, Nottingham Forest and Milner’s boyhood club Leeds United.
That is according to 90min, who report that Brighton may lead the chase for Milner’s signature, but Everton are also in the mix.
The report states: “Nottingham Forest and boyhood club Leeds United would like him (Milner) to wait until the end of the season to assess his options as they too are interested, while Liverpool’s rivals Everton are in the same camp.”
Everton gamble on Milner could be a success, or further fuel fan tensions
It would be a surprise move for the Premier League veteran should Milner switch Anfield for Goodison Park and it would be the first direct move from one Merseyside rival to another since Abel Xavier’s controversial move to Liverpool in 2002.
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Interestingly however, Everton’s on-loan defender Conor Coady also turned out for Liverpool, making a solitary Premier League appearance in 2013, so the Blues could sign former Reds in consecutive summer windows should Milner join.
Given his age, any contract would likely be short in length, but Milner’s experience and versatility could make him an asset worth pursuing for Sean Dyche’s side.
However, how keen the Goodison faithful would be on signing a cast-off from across the park is another question, and should Milner join he would have to endear himself immediately to the fanbase.