Johnson has less than a year left on his current contract—reports Anderson—and will be able to leave the club for free in the summer, should he wish for a new challenge after the 2014 World Cup.
Brendan Rodgers is a huge fan of the Liverpool right-back but finds himself in a difficult position as the Reds attempt to balance their overall wage bill. Anderson provides further details:
Glen Johnson will be offered a new deal by Liverpool but he must accept a cut on his reported £139,000-a-week salary …
Brendan Rodgers says the Anfield giants will be opening talks. However, its understood Liverpool will not be prepared to match the England right-back’s current wages.
Johnson is currently on the road to recovery after tweeting a picture on Monday, prior to having his cast removed from the leg he damaged against Manchester United.
The 29-year-old was forced to limp out of that game with an ankle injury, and Liverpool have failed to win both league games in his absence, drawing at Swansea before losing to Southampton.
Johnson’s importance to Rodgers' passing, possession-based is clear, and the Liverpool boss confirmed his intention to address the expiring contract soon, per Anderson’s article:
It’s something the club will take up at the right time. I’m not sure where it’s at.
Glen is the type of player you don’t realise what you’re missing until he’s not in the team. He was outstanding against Manchester United so it will be great when we get him back.
Johnson’s absence is expected to remain on course for the six-week period first predicted, with Rodgers revealing he expects the defender back “in a few weeks.”
Liverpool cannot get him back soon enough, having lost significant width from the full-back position. The Reds’ wide men—Victor Moses on the left and Iago Aspas or Daniel Sturridge from the right—all like to cut inside.
Johnson, along with Jose Enrique, is key to opening up the pitch. It was no surprise that, without both full-backs, Liverpool produced a dire display at home to Southampton.
However, that does not guarantee Johnson a future at the club. Liverpool’s owners have previously made clear their policy in favouring young, hungry players. They also baulked at the Anfield wage bill upon arrival at the club, per Roger Blitz of FT.com.
If Rodgers’ vast scouting network has identified a future prospect at right-back, or believes Martin Kelly is ready to become the No. 1 selection, Johnson may find his bargaining position weakened.
Performances will ultimately have the greatest bearing on negotiations though, and Johnson started the campaign in sparkling form prior to his injury.
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