James Milner looks increasingly unlikely to join Arsenal this summer as the Gunners don’t want to meet his £150,000-a-week wage demands, according to reports.
The future of the Manchester City midfielder is very much up in the air at the minute as he has refused to put pen to paper on a new Etihad deal in recent weeks despite the fact his current contract is up this year.
As a result he’s been heavily linked with moves to both Liverpool and Arsenal, with the clubs said to be ready to snap him up as an experienced option who would cost next to nothing.
Now though it looks as though the Anfield outfit may have the jump on their southern rivals, as Arsene Wenger and the powers that be in north London are unwilling to accept that Milner wants to become their highest earner, according to the Evening Standard.
The two biggest names at the Emirates Stadium, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, are only on £140,000-a-week, so was Milner to get his wish a fair few feathers could be ruffled.
That said the Gunners still remain interested in striking a deal, even if that entails convincing the former Aston Villa man to drop his weekly demands and settle for less. At the moment there’s been no indication that he will do that, though the fact that he is eager for first-team football could be a significant aid.
Milner may still be regarded highly in the blue half of Manchester but the truth of the matter is that he hasn’t been played as regularly as he wishes to be of late, and when he does start he can so often be forced out of position to accommodate the other reputable talents Manuel Pellegrini has at his disposal.
It could be that the burning desire to get minutes under his belt sees Milner opt for Liverpool, particularly given how fierce the competition already is to get into Arsenal’s midfield.
Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini are all fighting to get game-time under Wenger in the middle of the park, and Milner is a player who shares similar traits to a few of those individuals.
Of course Arsenal can offer Champions League football and that’s something Liverpool won’t be able to boast in the season ahead, but that might not be enough to convince Milner to take a hit on his wage expectancy.
Arsenal fans, should Wenger consent to pay Milner what he wants? Is there better to be found than the England international in that position? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.