Liverpool will be without James Milner for their must-win match at West Ham on Sunday as the experienced left-back has picked up a ransomware infection.
Milner is believed to have frozen while chasing down a loose ball in training on Friday.
Club IT staff immediately tried to restart Milner, only to see a screen demanding a ransom of either $300 or Lucas Leiva.
The notice said that if Liverpool don’t pay by the end of the season, Milner’s entire football experience will be wiped out – including his 61 England caps and his PFA Young Player of the Year Award in 2010.
An angry Jurgen Klopp is said to have confronted the club’s technicians having previously pointed out that Milner is still running on outdated software, and therefore vulnerable to such viruses.
A source at the club says Brendan Rodgers shares some of the blame for failing to upgrade Milner from Windows XP when he was signed in 2015.
Klopp is believed to have made enquiries yesterday with Manchester City about returning Milner to the Etihad Stadium, only to find out that the 18-month warranty on the player ran out in December.
Image courtesy of dom fellowes via Wikimedia Commons