James Milner
Manchester City midfielder James Milner is a summer target for Liverpool, as Brendan Rodgers continues search for Steven Gerrard's replacementGetty Images

Liverpool are reportedly confident of signing Manchester City midfielder James Milner on a free transfer during the summer.

According to ESPN, the English midfielder, who is on the final six-months of his contract, is yet to agree a new deal with the defending Premier League champions. Thus, attracting attention from interested clubs in England and Europe.

Brendan Rodgers is a big admirer of the player, and he has targeted the City midfielder as one of the players in the shortlist to replace departing skipper Steven Gerrard, who will move to MLS side LA Galaxy next season. Fabian Delph was another contender, but the Aston Villa midfielder has signed a new contract with the Villa Park outfit, leaving Rodgers looking at other alternatives.

The Etihad Stadium outfit are reluctant to let Milner leave, and have already offered him a new deal to keep him at the club. But the former Aston Villa man is yet to finalise the details of his new contract and earlier this month he had revealed that the ball was in Manchester City's court with regards to contract discussions.

However, the Northern Irishman is hoping that the lure of first-team football should be enough to persuade Milner to ditch the champions and move to Anfield in the summer.

Milner was not happy with the bit-part role under Manuel Pellegrini, as he only started in 12 games during the whole of the last campaign, but has already equaled that tally this season, due to injuries suffered by Samir Nasri, David Silva and Sergio Aguero.

Apart from Liverpool, Premier League rivals Arsenal are also said to be interested in the midfielder, who can play in a number of positions. He is primarily a right-sided midfielder, but can operate in central midfield and full-back positions, making him a key asset to the team.

The report also claims that, Italian giants Inter Milan and Napoli are interested in signing Milner, and with just six months remaining on his current deal, he is allowed to negotiate a pre-contract with clubs abroad.