After holding talks with both Arsenal and Liverpool, it is now widely expected that Manchester City star James Milner will be donning Merseyside red next season.
The two-time Premier League winner is available for nothing with his contract at the Etihad expiring at the end of the month.
Keen to play in his preferred centre-midfield berth, as opposed to anywhere from right-wing to programme salesman at Man City, the former Aston Villa and Newcastle man seems set to sacrifice Champions League football in favour of a move to Anfield.
With a Steven Gerrard-shaped chasm to fill in the Liverpool team, a regular starting berth would be far easier to come by in Brendan Rodgers’ side, making the 17/20 about Milner making over 23.5 Premier League starts for the first time since 2009/10 a decent bet.
Picking the Reds over the Gunners seems a shrewd move from the player’s perspective if re-establishing himself as a first-team staple is his intention, but is it a wise decision from the manager?
Versatility is one of Milner’s biggest assets, with the England international able to play in any midfield position and being known to feature at full-back and up front too.
Similarly, meddling with modus operandi has come to be known as one of Rodgers’ managerial traits.
The Ulsterman’s tendency to pull a joker of a formation from the sleeve of his suit jacket has yielded mixed results across his tenure in the Anfield dugout.
For instance, in 2013/14 he brought the midfield diamond back into fashion in order to maximise the team’s attacking potential, an objective it achieved in spectacular style.
Defensively, however, Liverpool were often left wanting.
Last season his three-man defence yielded similar results.
Now it appears he will have one of the most changeable midfielders in the Premier League at his disposal from next season, providing, of course, the club’s owners don’t give him the boot in the coming days.
The temptation to tinker will be greater than ever if the Milner deal is completed, so expect to see all kinds of new-fangled, never before seen formations being fielded at Anfield next term.
Destabilising the team in such a way can’t be good, while forever being asked to change position is certain to unsettle the player too, who will have designs of starting nowhere except the middle of midfield across his Liverpool career.