Liverpool defender Glen Johnson is all set to join Italian side AS Roma at the end of the current season on a free transfer.
The 30 year old former Chelsea defender has indicated that he will be moving away from the club and denied last month that he has rejected a contract extension offer by the club.
First and foremost, I want to play for a club that wants me,” Johnson said. “At the moment, I have seen some stuff in the press that I have been offered half the money I am on. That’s not true. I haven’t been offered anything.
“We aren’t speaking [on a contract] at the moment,” he said. “I want to play my football. Time goes very quick. I have enjoyed my time here, the majority of the six years.
“There have been some good times, some bad times. I have enjoyed my football but if I haven’t got a contract, I can’t stay. It plays on your mind but that is where you have to try and be professional and do your best for the team. I respect my team-mates more than anyone.”
When questioned as to whether he will be discussing his future with Brendan Rodgers, Johnson said he hadn’t and had no intentions to be doing it in the future as well.
“No. I’m not going to go crawling to anybody,” he said. “They know where I am and they know the situation. There were minor talks at the end of last season but they were minor talks. Nothing that I could accept or reject – just minor talks.
“Whatever will unfold will unfold. It’s not my business to talk to other clubs at the minute. I am concentrating on keeping winning for Liverpool. I want to respect my contract and that is what I am willing to do.”
Roma are in need of defensive reinforcements but at present they don’t have vast funds at their disposal with them and need to look at cut-price options such as Johnson.
Liverpool would rather sell the player in January, as they could get some money for the player they bought for £17m from Portsmouth, rather than lose him next summer for free. However, selling him in January would mean they would need defensive cover for the right back spot. Javier Manquillo is the only player available to fit in at the right back spot, in the absence of Jon Flanagan. Both these players are very young and the experience of Johnson might be something Rodgers would count as the reason to hold on to him till the summer.
Meanwhile, it looks like Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen could be moving to Liverpool in January.
According to reports, the Reds have already held talks with the Belgian’s agent over a switch and are confident of getting their man.
It’s claimed that a deal is close with Tottenham are willing to sell the player, who doesn’t look very important in Pochettino’s plans, but the negotiations “could drag on for weeks”.