Manchester City's Adam Johnson has been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium after his failure to secure a regular spot in City's starting lineup. He made just 10 Premier League starts last season.
This is a perfectly reasonable stance for a player who has long promised much but has never really had a chance to prove himself at the top level.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini seems to be resigned to losing Johnson, telling The Independent, "If he wants to, he has to leave – but if that happens I will be so sorry because Adam is a good guy."
With his manager having accepted that he is on the way out, the question is no longer whether or not the winger will leave, but where he will move to.
So, where is he going to end up come the end of August?
The Guardian, meanwhile, claims that City's price for Johnson's services is £10 million. Furthermore, they claim that five clubs have met this price, although the article goes on to state that Johnson has rejected two of the five.
Sunderland might currently be in the lead to sign Johnson, but there is a potential stumbling point. Despite being born in Sunderland, Johnson grew up as a Newcastle fan and was in their youth system. The rivalry between Sunderland and Newcastle is incredibly fierce, and with Johnson potentially in a position to pick where he lands up playing his football, he may well look elsewhere first.
The Independent is reporting that Liverpool are prepared to spend the required money on Johnson and, having watched his side look worryingly impotent against West Brom last weekend, Brendan Rodgers would be well advised to add a skillful and effective winger such as Johnson to his squad.
Liverpool would be a good fit for Johnson, considering Brendan Rodgers' love for attractive passing football and the winger's style of play.
A move away from City certainly makes sense considering they seem to be on course to land Scott Sinclair, with the BBC quoting Swansea first-team coach Alan Curtis as saying "I think Man City have made a bid."
If City do sign Sinclair, there really would be no point in Johnson staying put in Manchester. His already limited playing time would be further reduced and, at 25, Johnson needs to rapidly increase his playing time if he is to have a prolonged international career.
The exit of Johnson would finance a deal for the Swansea winger, said to be valued at £8 million, and would leave the Sky Blues with a player similar to Johnson, ensuring they lose no squad strength.
So, Adam Johnson's departure would be good business for Manchester City, as well as for Adam Johnson, Scott Sinclair and whichever club the winger ends up with. £10 million is not an unreasonable fee for a very good English player. The only losers, perhaps, would be Swansea, who will be forced to look for a replacement for 23-year-old Sinclair.
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