English daily The Telegraph has reported today that Real manager Carlo Ancelotti is a long-term admirer of the England international, having attempted to take him back to Chelsea before Johnson moved to Anfield from Portsmouth in 2009.
And as per the latest reports, Johnson is emerging as a realistic target for Real at the end of the season and Carlo Ancelotti, the manager, has been alerted to the uncertainty over the England international’s future at Anfield.
Liverpool held preliminary negotiations with Johnson over a year ago but have suspended further talks until the summer, when the 29-year-old will enter the final 12 months of his contract.
The club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, are reluctant to pay players lucrative deals when they go beyond their 30th birthday and Johnson is unlikely to be offered significantly more than the £110,000 a week he currently earns.
Johnson has played in four successive Reds victories since returning from an ankle injury and played a major part in three of Liverpool’s goals in Saturday’s 6-3 win at Cardiff.
But with the player turning 30 in August, Liverpool have been reluctant to hand Johnson a lucrative new deal and they may be prepared to cash in – particularly if they are able to lure Brendan Rodgers’ top transfer target Luke Shaw from Southampton.
Ancelotti is in the market for a new right-back, with long-term doubts over Alvaro Arbeloa, and is weighing up a £5million bid for Johnson with the offer of a new challenge in La Liga.
There is also understood to be interest from rival Premier League clubs, with Arsenal set to target a right-back as they face the prospect of losing Bacary Sagna to either Galatasaray or Inter Milan.
But Real’s interest in Johnson is growing and the chance to join world record signing Gareth Bale in Spain could appeal to the former Chelsea defender.
Earlier this year Johnson admitted: “I’ve loved every minute of the five years I’ve been here and I’d love to stay but really the only truth in it is that I’ve not been offered a new contract on any level.
“No-one has come to me from Liverpool at all. I don’t know the situation the club are in or if they want to renew it. So I’ve not got a decision to make other than to see my contract out because no-one is telling me any different.”
Liverpool, on course to end their long exile from the Champions League, are prepared to discuss a new deal but their decision to delay talks leaves them open to the risk of losing him.