Fabinho injury could damage Leeds' hopes of signing James Milner

James Milner of Liverpool scores a penalty

If Liverpool release James Milner then Leeds United would be his favoured destination.

(THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) James Milner of Liverpool showing his appreciation to the fans at the end of the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at...

James Milner didn't do much to kill speculation about a move to Leeds United next summer recently.

In fact, Milner, whose Liverpool contract expires in June, wrote in his book Ask a Footballer that he would be 'excited' to re-sign for the Elland Road if he was to be released at Anfield.

The 33-year-old utility player came through the ranks at Thorp Arch and kick-started his illustrious senior career at Leeds.

And the prospect of finishing it there clearly appeals to him - again, if he was to become a Bosman.

 

If Milner wanted to stay on Merseyside, then his performances over the next month or six weeks might be key.

Liverpool will be without Fabinho for up to six weeks due to an ankle injury [The Daily Mail].

Unfortunately for Jurgen Klopp it's a rotten time to lose one of his best and most influential players, with the Reds having at least 10 matches across all competitions between now and January 2.

Milner has played a lot of different positions under the German manager, but he's a midfielder by trade and there's a Fabinho-shaped hole to be filled from now until January.

Jurgen Klopp manager

Milner won't be Klopp's first-choice replacement - Georginio Wijnaldum, who replaced him on Wednesday, will be - but rotation is massively important in December and if Milner can impress in his natural position when he gets the chances then a one-year extension might be the reward.

Let's face it, he's been brilliant this season but Liverpool still haven't extended the former Leeds star's contract, meaning that he isn't quite doing enough.

But over the next month or so, Milner could have a lot more responsibility and if he can help Klopp weather this Fabinho-less period then the manager may just hand him a deserved new deal, killing the Whites' chances of luring him back to West Yorkshire in the process.

(THE SUN ON OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) James Milner of Liverpool competing with Kevin De Bruyne during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City at Anfield on...

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