Newcastle United supporters have been reasonably buoyant in the Transfer Tavern this week following their side’s 2-2 draw with Southampton last weekend, as well as news of a possible takeover of the club.
Rafa Benitez’s side went into their clash at St Mary’s on Sunday having won three of their opening seven Premier League matches, and looked on course to register a fourth as goals from Isaac Hayden and Ayoze Perez twice gave them the lead on the South Coast. However, Saints striker Manolo Gabbiadini bagged a brace, the second from the penalty spot after Florian Lejeune needlessly fouled Shane Long, to preserve a point for Mauricio Pellegrino’s side, who remain two points adrift of the Magpies in the Premier League table.
That point was met by satisfaction from several of our resident Newcastle supporters, whose mood got even better this week thanks to news of a possible takeover of the club, and they are likely to be intrigued by a recent report from The Independent, which suggests that the North East giants attempted to bring James Milner back to the club during the summer.
The 31-year-old made the move to Anfield back in 2015 after a five-year stint at Manchester City, and has since gone on to become a vital member of the squad at the Merseyside outfit having played 94 games for the Reds, in which time he has scored 14 goals and laid on 20 assists.
Last season he was often used as a full-back by manager Jurgen Klopp given Alberto Moreno’s struggles in the role, but this term has seen the Spaniard reclaim his place in the starting eleven, thus restricting Milner to just two Premier League starts.
And it appears that Benitez and Newcastle attempted to bring the former England international back to St James’ Park during the summer, a place where the midfielder spent four years between 2004 and 2008, in which time he played 134 matches and won over several Magpies supporters.
However, it’s a deal they were unable to strike, and as such Milner will have to try and force his way back into Klopp’s reckoning over the coming weeks and months.
Landlord’s verdict: James Milner has always been regarded as the sort of player one wants in their squad, and last season’s fine efforts at left-back highlighted that point.
However, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has clearly seen something in Alberto Moreno, whom Milner replaced in the side last term, over the summer and as such has kept faith with him so far this season, leaving the former England star with much time to ponder his future on the substitute’s bench.
And it turns out that former club Newcastle United had hoped to lure him back to St James’ Park during the close season, what with manager Rafa Benitez seeking to bolster his squad ahead of their return to the Premier League.
And having an experienced, versatile player like Milner would certainly have done that, but it’s a move that ultimately didn’t materialise.
Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!