Newcastle held talks over shocking summer swoop for former star - report
By Russell Edge
Newcastle United held talks with Liverpool over a move for former midfield star James Milner over the summer, according to a report.
The Independent claim on their website that the Magpies and the Reds were in discussions over a potential move which would have seen the 31-year-old make a shock move back to Tyneside, nine years after leaving the club for Aston Villa, having made 134 appearances for the club.
The report states that the move failed to come to fruition as Newcastle were unwilling to meet Liverpool’s financial demands, and he has remained at Anfield this season with his contract set to expire in the summer of 2019.
Such a move would have come as a huge surprise to Newcastle fans, considering the wages he can be expected to be currently earning at Liverpool, and his age, with the club having enforced a well documented strict transfer policy.
The midfielder, who has also filled in at left back in recent years, has just three starts to his name this season, having made a total of nine appearances.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Since joining from Manchester City the 61 time capped England international has made 94 appearances for the Reds, scoring 14 times and notching up 20 assists.
Football Insider verdict
This report should be taken with a pinch of salt as there could have been no realistic expectation that Milner would have returned to Newcastle this summer. Liverpool will be paying him wages way beyond what the Magpies would be willing to match, even if he were to take a pay cut, and he goes against everything that Mike Ashley looks for when investing in players. Yes, Rafael Benitez was looking for Premier League experience but Milner would not have represented the value for money the owner demands, especially not considering his age. It would have been an interesting move, and one which Newcastle fans may well have welcomed with open arms, but it just is not what the club stand for right now.
In other Newcastle United news, a report has detailed just how much the club can expect to spend in the transfer market if this £300million deal comes through.