Everton have had a surprise contract offer for Liverpool midfielder James Milner rejected, according to reports.

What’s the latest on Milner’s future?

The Premier League veteran has made 329 appearances during his time at Anfield which is more than any other club he’s played for throughout his professional career, but with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, he’s about to become a free agent on the market.

The Reds were reportedly looking to offer the 37-year-old a new deal but the fact that it wasn’t high on their list of priorities mean that he is keen to seek a new challenge elsewhere to a destination he’ll be needed more often, and he isn’t short of potential suitors queuing up to recruit him.

G9IJA report that Leeds United, who are his boyhood club, and Nottingham Forest were both hoping to get him on board, but Fabrizio Romano soon put an end to their ambitions after revealing that he’s agreed a one-year deal to join Brighton and Hove Albion, but it turns out they weren’t the only side that submitted a proposal.

According to Football Insider, Everton actually made a “late move” to sign Milner but had their offer personally “rejected” by Liverpool’s long-term servant. The Toffees are believed to have tabled a “lucrative” contract in the hope of bringing him to the blue half of Merseyside, but he “turned down” the opportunity and instead chose to link up with the Seagulls. Sean Dyche is “likely” to target the free agent market for new signings as a result of Financial Fair Play rules and regulations, so this will be a transfer setback.

Is Milner’s contract rejection a blow for Everton?

Everton will know that Milner would have only been a short-term signing given his age, but having been hailed a “role model” to his Liverpool teammates by Jurgen Klopp, Farhad Moshiri and Dyche will definitely have suffered a blow in missing out on securing his services.

England’s former international is naturally an aggressive player and loves to get stuck in having won 189 tackles from 193 players challenged throughout the latest stage of his career, but can also contribute to efforts in the final third having posted 221 goal involvements since bursting onto the professional scene.

The Nike-sponsored athlete, who is a versatile operator with his ability to play in 11 various positions across the pitch, also knows what it takes to be successful and compete at the highest level having secured 12 pieces of silverware so could have passed his winning mentality onto the rest of the current squad at Goodison Park, but that now won’t be the case.