Leeds United's faint hopes of dream transfer reunion dashed by new contract report

Leeds United's chances of re-signing veteran midfielder James Milner have been significantly reduced

By Joe Donnohue
Monday, 6th June 2022, 9:43 am
Updated Monday, 6th June 2022, 9:45 am

Leeds United's summer transfer business is far from complete as the team look to avoid a repeat of their final day escape last season.

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USMNT international Brenden Aaronson became the club's first senior signing of 2022 as the 21-year-old put pen to paper on a five-year deal late last month.

Leeds are also on the verge of agreeing a deal to bring Danish full-back Rasmus Kristensen to Elland Road and will potentially look to add a back-up goalkeeper, another centre-forward and another midfielder to their ranks before the windows closes in just under three months' time.

One persistent transfer link that has refused to go away over the past two seasons is the possibility of former Leeds man James Milner re-joining the club.

At 36 years of age, the Liverpool midfielder is in the twilight of his professional career, but has typically been regarded as one of the Premier League's most reliable players given his dedication to remaining in peak physical condition.

Having left Elland Road as a mere teenager almost two decades ago, a return to the club where it all began this summer appeared a fairytale possibility, but news of a fresh Anfield contract in the offing is set to put paid to those faint hopes.

GRATITUDE: Stuart Dallas waves to the Elland Road support (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

The Times report Milner is close to agreeing a new deal on Merseyside on 'significantly reduced terms', indicating negotiations have taken place regarding an extension at Liverpool.

Milner's role under Jurgen Klopp has gradually lessened as his career winds down, but is considered a valuable member of the dressing room, imparting wisdom to younger players as well as deputising for injured or unavailable members of the squad in a variety of on-pitch roles.

With Stuart Dallas' long-term injury and subsequent absence something Leeds will need to contend with next season, Milner's addition would have somewhat mitigated the effects of losing their ever-reliable Swiss army knife.

The likelihood of this occurring now, though, appears slim.

BATTLE: Liverpool's James Milner (L) and Leeds' Stuart Dallas (R) jostle for possession at Elland Road (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)