Liverpool confirm departures of midfield trio

James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will leave Liverpool on free transfers when their contracts expire in the summer.

Roberto Firmino has already confirmed his departure as Liverpool will lose four players who have made almost 900 appearances under Jurgen Klopp.

Milner, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain were all expected to go but it means Liverpool will step up their search for at least two midfielders in the summer, with four – including on-loan Arthur Melo – heading for the exit.

Klopp had wanted to keep Milner but the 37-year-old was not offered a contract. His departure is nevertheless amicable with the vice-captain set to join Brighton.

Milner made 330 appearances, scoring 26 goals and helping Liverpool to win the Champions League, the Premier League, the Club World Cup, the European Super Cup, the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the Community Shield.

Firmino, who also joined Liverpool in 2015, a few months before Klopp’s arrival, scored 109 goals in 360 games and formed a formidable forward trio with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. Klopp had also hoped to extend his stay but Liverpool have signed three other forwards, in Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo, in the last 18 months.

Milner joined Liverpool on a free transfer in 2015 (Getty Images)
Milner joined Liverpool on a free transfer in 2015 (Getty Images)

Liverpool agreed a £52m deal with RB Leipzig for Keita in 2017, with the Guinean international arriving the following summer.

He has only played 129 times in an injury-hit five years at Anfield, with a mere 13 appearances this season, struggling to justify his transfer fee.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has also suffered from injuries, particularly a cruciate ligament problem he sustained in the 2018 Champions League semi-final against Roma, which meant he missed virtually all of the following season.

The 29-year-old, who cost £35m from Arsenal in 2017, scored 18 goals in 146 games for Liverpool.