Is this why Liverpool look to have beaten Arsenal to James Milner's signature

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Liverpool are overwhelming favourites to sign the out-of-contract Manchester City midfielder.

As reports surface that James Milner is edging towards a move to Liverpool, Arsenal fans who rate the Englishman may be asking how the Gunners, with more money and a higher level of European football on offer, have lost out to the Reds.

Well the reason may be manifold, but undoubtedly at it's centre is London Evening Standard's claims that the £150,000 a week wage Liverpool are offering is simply a figure Arsene Wenger is not willing to match.

The Frenchman is notoriously careful with the contracts he hands out to his playing squad, especially as they reach the latter stages of their career, and the LES suggests Wenger is reluctant to get sucked into a bidding war for Milner. 

The report also states that though Liverpool are not able to offer the former Newcastle and Aston Villa star Champions League football, they can offer him assurances about how much first-team football he will be able to expect.

Arsenal, with a raft of quality central midfield players, can make no such promises, and with the likes of Francis Coquelin impressing in recent months, alongside the presence of more established stars such as Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, it is likely 29-year-old Milner would find himself in a similar position to what he has experienced at the Etihad - that of a squad player who is more than good enough to expect a regular starting spot yet having to rotate with other gifted players.

Jamie Carragher has even been quoted by Sky Sports as suggesting that Milner may be able to expect the captaincy vacated by Gerrard should he switch to Anfield.

These are promises Arsene Wenger just can't, or isn't willing to offer the versatile England international, and so it is somewhat understandable that Liverpool are now emerging as massive favourites for the Manchester City star.

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