Liverpool could face a fight to keep hold of Glen Johnson this summer, with Real Madrid now reported to be weighing up a move for the right back. Johnson will have just a year remaining on his contract come the summer, with talks with the 29-year-old over a new deal having been suspended until the end of the season.
The Daily Telegraph believes that Madrid are considering making a bid of £5 million to try and prize the England international away from Anfield.
Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti will know Johnson well having spent two seasons in England when managing Chelsea. Still, it would be something of a surprise move, given that Madrid only brought 22-year-old Daniel Carvajal back to the Bernabeu from Bayer Leverkusen last summer. They also have Spain international Alvaro Arbeloa vying for the right-back berth. There is unlikely to be any shortage of competition for Johnson’s signature, though, should he be available. Arsenal have also been keenly linked.
But Rodgers has been explicit in his determination to keep Johnson at Liverpool, particularly with the performances he has produced since returning from injury.
We want to keep Glen here,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. “There is no question about that, especially now he’s in this form. He’s 29 and we feel that he has still got good years ahead of him. No contracts will be looked at until the summer but his will be a priority for us, especially if he continues in the form that he’s in.”
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The key discussion point in negotiations is likely to be over both the length and salary involved in any new contract for a player who will turn 30 in August and is believed to be on a wage of £110,000 a week.
According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool are prepared to spend big to bring a full-back into the squad this summer. The tabloid claims that the Reds have now joined the race to sign in-demand Southampton left-back Luke Shaw. The 18-year-old, who made his debut for England earlier this month, is thought to be a prime target for both Manchester United and Chelsea. Yet, it is now believed that Rodgers is also intent on competing for Shaw’s signature. Chelsea are considered favorites to land Shaw, given that the player has stated on several occasions that he is a fan of the London club.
Liverpool’s defense has been the main weak spot in their impressive season to date. And the Mail has also claimed that Rodgers has identified West Ham center-back Winston Reid as a summer target. The New Zealand international had been an impressive figure in the early part of the season before suffering an ankle injury in November that has led to him making just one start since. There will likely have to be something of a clear out if Rodgers is to add to their central defensive options, however. Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure, Tiago Ilori and Sebastian Coates are all currently on Liverpool’s books.
Liverpool’s defensive record could also be helped by a robust figure in the middle of the pitch. And the Daily Express has suggested that the role could be filled by Yann M’Vila, a former Arsenal target. The France international was highly sought after a couple of years ago when at Rennes. However, a string of disciplinary problems, including one that until recently saw him banned from playing for France, and a move to Russia has seen his rating fall. However, the Express claims that the 23-year-old has been told he can leave Rubin Kazan in the summer and that he favors a move to the Premier League.