- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - Liverpool moved quickly to fill the void created by Steven Gerrard’s departure by agreeing to sign James Milner on Thursday, after the midfielder rejected the offer of a new deal at Manchester City.

The 29-year-old Milner has agreed personal terms and will move to Anfield on a free transfer on July 1, once his contract at City has expired.

The arrival of Milner - a hard-working, versatile midfielder - is expected to be followed by more signings in a crucial offseason for Liverpool, which is rebuilding after missing out on Champions League qualification and losing its captain and most influential player in Gerrard.

Burnley striker Danny Ings is also close to moving to Anfield, according to reports in the British media.

City tried to retain the services of Milner, who became more of a regular in the team last season and was appreciated by manager Manuel Pellegrini. However, Milner reportedly wants to play more in central midfield and Gerrard’s departure provides such an opening at Liverpool.

Milner spent five years at City, helping the team win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup while playing in a variety of positions - ranging from across the midfield to right back and central striker. He has played 53 times for England.

“You’ll be missed at City brother, as a teammate and a friend!” City captain Vincent Kompany said on Twitter. “Your drive and passion were inspirational.”

After 17 years as a professional at Liverpool, Gerrard is moving to the Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers held talks with the club’s American owners this week and is set to continue in charge, despite his team’s regression last season. Liverpool nearly won the league in the 2013-14 season, but finished sixth this year.

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