Reports have surfaced that contract talks between Liverpool and Glen Johnson have stalled, prompting speculation that the defender could be on his way out of Anfield in the near future.
The England man said negotiations have gone ‘very quiet’ between his representatives and the Reds, who will not buckle to demands for a longer-term deal than the one-year extension they’ve put on the table.
Complying with the zeitgeist for elite Premier League outfits, the Merseysiders won’t offer those on the north side of the 30-year-old threshold a contract longer than 12 months and, with Johnson’s deal expiring in June, he’s free to discuss terms with foreign clubs from January onwards.
But if Liverpool know what’s good for them, they’ll bow to the West Ham academy graduate’s demands.
The Reds are currently reeling from the effects of drastic squad overhaul.
If they are to ensure long-term success, they need to keep the current crop together for a reasonable length of time.
Losing one first-team stalwart this summer in Luis Suarez was bad enough, but bringing in a raft of new arrivals and the time it’s taking for them to gel has proved far more troublesome.
Steven Gerrard’s role in the team is going to be even more reduced next season, meaning the need for continuity in their ranks has never been greater.
Johnson’s seniority renders him the perfect tutor to his blooming understudies.
Javier Manquillo and Jon Flanagan are clearly talented young right-backs, but their development will certainly be hindered minus the guidance of an international, Premier League-winning defender.
The former Chelsea man’s attacking inclinations make him essential for the Reds’ system to succeed.
An irrepressible desire to maraud forward at any opportunity makes Johnson the perfect candidate to provide width when Brendan Rodgers deploys his favoured ‘diamond’ formation.
After spending an inordinate amount of time unearthing a left-back that could perform these duties to a world-class standard in Alberto Moreno, it would be something of a backward step to ditch the only right-back in the ranks capable of performing a similar role just a year later.