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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Mark Wakefield

Leeds United chose not to complete 'easy' signing of Liverpool midfielder

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch says he opted not to go down the “easy” route to sign James Milner from Liverpool.

The Reds midfielder is currently in his eighth season at Anfield, after arriving on a free transfer in 2015. He has gone on to make 313 appearances for Liverpool and has won six major trophies.

Milner’s current deal is set to expire at the end of the season. His original contract was due to run out last summer, but the club announced that the veteran had extended his stay on Merseyside by a further year.

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It remains to be seen whether Milner will remain a Liverpool player beyond this season. And Marsch has claimed that he turned down the “easy” chance to bring the midfielder back to Leeds.

Milner started his playing career at Elland Road, making his debut as a 16-year-old in 2002. And Marsch has explained why Leeds did not pursue a deal for the Liverpool vice-captain.

“We’ve built this with young players,” Marsch told Leeds Live.

“We haven’t gone out one time and gotten an experienced, 30-year-old Premier League player because a lot of what we’re trying to do is build a process where we’re going to get stronger and stronger.

“We’re not just building a squad for right now, but for the development of what we want this club to become, which we think is the right strategy.

“It would have been easy along the way to bring James Milner back or try to do some things like this to bring in Premier League experience or veteran players that understand the league.

“In some ways, it’s a little bit braver where we’re at in what we’re doing. You could say risky, but we believe in believing a process where we’re going to pick up some good, young players, get them at a price where it still makes sense within our budget and help them to become Premier League stars, help them take the next step in their careers and, in the process, build this club to get bigger and stronger.”


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