The Liverpool right-back is signed to a contract with the Anfield outfit up until 2015 that's worth in excess of £100,000 a week. But according to the piece, the Reds are not keen to increase his salary and would rather offer the England man a longer deal, but on a reduced wage.
With Johnson struggling for form whenever he has donned the red jersey this season, you have to wonder whether Brendan Rodgers and the Liverpool board would seriously consider any offers they might receive for the England man in the coming months.
Johnson is one of the standout full-backs in the Premier League when he’s at his best. Going forward in particular, he has been a menace to opposition defences. He is capable of beating men on the outside and whipping crosses into the box, or he can just as easily cut inside onto his left foot and strike toward goal from distance.
But this season, there have been some really worrying signs. First and foremost, he has not been anywhere near as potent going forward. He looks hesitant in his forward advances, and when he gets into good areas, he has been very, very wasteful, evident by the fact he’s yet to register an assist so far this campaign in a Liverpool side that's been free-scoring and fluid.
The real concerns with Johnson come in the form of his defensive play, as they always have done.
Since returning from injury he has been regularly caught out of position, and as a result Rodgers has saw fit to regularly play Jordan Henderson on the right-hand side to compensate for the England full-back’s defensive woes.
In the Merseyside derby, Johnson was at fault for at least two of the goals, and in Liverpool’s recent defeat to Hull City, his defensive deficiencies were accentuated with Henderson playing a little more centrally.
Johnson is 29 now, and Liverpool have a couple of up-and-coming young right-backs who are capable of taking his place—Jon Flanagan in particular, who has really impressed in the first team as of late. Already he looks a player with much more defensive awareness than the more experienced Johnson. According to Andy Hunter of the Guardian, Liverpool are also reportedly hopeful of securing the transfer of Barcelona's Martin Montoya.
If Liverpool were looking to sell, the former West Ham and Chelsea man would still command a decent fee if the Reds' hierarchy can’t sort out this contract situation. They could use that money to improve other areas of the team which are in need of patching up, and it would also free up weekly wages that could be better used elsewhere.
A new contract for Luis Suarez, perhaps?