James Milner couldn’t resist cracking a joke about Jurgen Klopp after he committed his future to Liverpool on Tuesday.
The Reds’ stalwart, 33, signed a new contract that will keep him at Anfield until the end of the 2021/2022 season.
His new deal came at the end of a busy day that also saw Klopp extend his stay with the club until 2024, and the midfielder suggested that he played a key role in his manager’s decision.
“Obviously the gaffer waited to sign his dependent on whether I signed mine, so that makes me a feel bit more important!” Milner joked when talking to the club’s website .
Milner, who joined the Reds in 2015 and was set to become a free agent at the end of the campaign, added: “I’ve been lucky and privileged to play for this club for four-and-a-half years now, it has been an amazing time seeing how the club is changing and developing.
“I just enjoy coming into training every day, working with this group of players, this manager and coaching staff, and being part of this football club.
“We had discussions with the club and this was obviously the ideal for me, this was what I wanted to do – stay and play at the highest level as long as I can.
“Liverpool is an unbelievable place to be and we’re a very, very good football team and hopefully we can keep improving.”
After joining the Reds on a free transfer from Manchester City , Milner was appointed vice-captain shortly after his arrival and has become a key member of a squad that has gone from strength to strength under Klopp.
In addition to making 198 appearances for the club, scoring 25 goals, he was part of the sides which lost League Cup, Europa League and Champions League finals under Klopp, before featuring as a substitute in the 2019 Champions League final win over Tottenham .
And the former England international is determined to help the club secure more trophies, with the Reds currently holding an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
“Obviously winning a trophy last year, it’s easy to sit back or take your foot off the gas, and we’ve gone the other way,” he added.
“There’s a long, long way to go now, we know that, no-one is getting ahead of themselves. Again, that’s a massive strength of the squad, we take it a game at a time and concentrate on one at a time.
“But you can see the drive in the squad to keep pushing and to try to play at the intensity that we play at every couple of days, which we are at the moment. That’s testament to everyone in and around the club, all the work everybody does at Melwood and the mental attitude and strength that we have to keep going and pushing again.
“Like I said, there’s a long, long way to go, but we’ll keep striving to keep improving and getting success for this club.”