Liverpool midfielder James Milner (L) in action against Maribor
According to The Independent, Newcastle United held talks with Liverpool over a deal to bring midfielder James Milner back to St. James' Park over the summer.
The Magpies were largely frustrated over the summer transfer window, with manager Rafael Benitez only managing to bring in Florian Lejeune, Javier Manquillo, Mikel Merino, Jacob Murphy and Joselu after securing Christian Atsu on a permanent basis.
Benitez ultimately didn't have the funds from owner Mike Ashley to bring in the players he wanted, and reports are now emerging of his interest in signing a former Newcastle midfielder.
The Independent report that Newcastle did actually hold talks with Liverpool over a potential move to bring James Milner back to Tyneside – but no deal was struck.
It's claimed that Milner wasn't for sale, but given his considerable wages and his bit-part role under Jurgen Klopp, Newcastle explored the possibility of luring the 31-year-old back to St. James' Park, but the Reds weren't willing to let him go for nothing, kiboshing the deal.
Milner, who joined Liverpool on a free transfer from Manchester City, has hit 14 goals in 94 games for Liverpool, serving a number of roles under Klopp, including his natural midfield role and the more unfamiliar left back role last season.
James Milner of Newcastle United skips past Dato Kvirkvelia of Dinamo Tbilisi
With Alberto Moreno starting at left back and the likes of Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum in midfield, Milner has mostly sat on the bench this season.
Milner could have played a key role under Benitez at Newcastle, returning to the club where he scored 11 goals in 136 games following a summer 2014 move from Leeds United – and whilst fans may like to see him return to St. James' Park, his wages are likely to be an issue for any future move too.
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