Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Wednesday March 5 2014
With his current deal nearing a conclusion, Reds full-back Glen Johnson has revealed he would love to spend the rest of his career at Anfield...
Liverpool's stuttering rearguard received a timely boost recently when Glen Johnson returned from a spell on the sidelines.
The 29-year-old's comeback from a series of niggling ankle and groin injuries has preceded back-to-back wins and Brendan Rodgers' team even kept a rare clean sheet against Southampton last time out.
With Johnson entering the final year of his existing deal this summer there is a sense the England international, who will win his 50th cap against Denmark tonight, is currently playing for his future at Anfield.
So far the Liverpool hierarchy have made no attempts to negotiate a new deal, which is unusual when a key player, still in his prime, is involved.
Generally you either offer a new one with 18 months or so remaining or you sell the player at the earliest opportunity to maximise his true market value.
Johnson is one of the club's longest serving players, joining back in 2009 when Rafa Benitez shelled out a substantial fee of around £17.5million to Portsmouth for his services.
An original four-year contract was renewed in July 2011 and it is believed the right-back now earns over 100k-a-week, which is likely to be one of the main reasons why Rodgers and co. are deliberating on what to do next.
Johnson is in no doubt about what he would like to see happen though, telling the Daily Mail: "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.
"I know some people have been saying Liverpool don't want to pay me my current wages, but I've not heard that. 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.
"It is an unnecessary distraction. I'm more than happy to sign a new contract and I'd love to stay here for many more years. But at the moment that is not for me to decide because I've not been offered anything and I've not been told I'm going to be sold.
"I just have to honour my contract and try not to let it distract me."
The ex-West Ham United youngster has amassed 162 appearances for the Merseysiders to date, scoring eight goals, and was part of the side that lifted the League Cup in 2012.
Sadly it would seem the writing is on the wall for Johnson in terms of his stay at L4. If the club were keen on keeping him it should have at least held some preliminary discussions by now. Although not to everyone's liking, the defender has proved a good servant for us and, when fit and on form, he's comfortably amongst the best attacking full-backs in European football. Personally, if Johnson is willing to take a pay cut, I would look to keep him for another year or two. His experience and versatility could prove useful over the coming seasons as we look to continue our advances.
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Date:Wednesday March 5 2014
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