Manchester City chairman sorry he could not deliver Champions League for 'favourite' Milner

James Milner

James Milner will join Liverpool from Manchester City on a free transfer in July.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has expressed his sadness at the departure of James Milner to Liverpool, saying he was one of his favourite players at the Etihad Stadium.

Milner has agreed terms with Liverpool and will join the Reds on July 1 on a free transfer after turning down a new deal to stay at the club he has won two Premier League titles with.

Despite that success - along with the League Cup and FA Cup - Al Mubarak is quoted in the Daily Mail, per City TV, as saying that he is sorry the club were unable to deliver a Champions League triumph for the popular England international.

He said: "I want to thank him for his service to the club, he’s been a hard worker, he’s been a loyal servant to this club. He's given everything to this club and it's been a joy to watch him win every single domestic trophy.

"He deserves that and I remember when we first brought Milner to City, you know, I promised him, you join City, we’re going to win championships and you’re going to have honours in every league that we are part of.

"I’m only disappointed that we didn’t give him the Champions League but hopefully the others will carry it from here on. But I want to thank James for his service to the club, he’s been an inspiration for many, an incredible player, I wish him all the best moving forward."

The challenge facing Milner when he joins up with his Liverpool teammates is likely to be a different one in the short term, but if all goes well, they could harbour similar ambitions to City further down the line.

After a disappointing 2014/15 season where they finished in sixth place and without a trophy, the Reds will try to return to the Champions League and challenge for honours next term as they rebuild a side which is lacking in experience. The signing of Milner addresses that issue in part.

But given the plaudits the City chairman has given to Milner, it only seems to add to the general feeling that Liverpool have conducted a shrewd piece of business in landing the Yorkshireman.

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