James Milner
Manchester City midfielder James Milner is a summer target for Arsenal and Liverpool.Getty Images

Liverpool have beaten Arsenal to the signature of James Milner, with the Manchester City midfielder ready to join the club on a free transfer in the summer, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Gunners had one eye on Milner to play the central role alongside Francis Coquelin but with the Gunners having a plethora of options in the middle of the park, Milner has reportedly decided to make the move to Merseyside where he is assured more game time in his preferred position.

Liverpool, who need to strengthen their squad in the summer for a top four push next season, has earmarked Milner as a short-term replacement for Steven Gerrard, who is set to leave the club after the end of the season. The 29-year-old will iterate his decision to the club after the season ends next Sunday giving Brendan Rodgers a massive boost ahead of what can be a career defining summer for the northern Irishman.

Milner's ability to run with the ball and adjust to any position on the pitch would make him a valuable asset for Rodgers' side, who have been found short in multiple areas this season. The Reds also need to sign a striker to complement the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert, with Mario Balotelli unlikely to have an extended run at the club.

Liverpool are set to make Milner one of their highest earners at the club with a deal worth £100,000 a week, which has also played a massive part in his final decision.

Meanwhile, the club will be commemorating Steven Gerrard's final game at Anfield as a Liverpool player, as he is set to leave the institution after almost two decades of service. The 34-year-old has won the Champions League, the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup with the Reds, despite having not won the Premier League title.