In a bid to rid themselves of another big wage packet, Liverpool are rumoured to be considering offers for Glen Johnson with Newcastle showing apparent interest in his signature.
Many have forecasted that Martin Kelly is ready to step into the defender’s boots should he head for the Anfield exit in the summer and may have to do just that if Johnson completes a move away.
The 27 year-old appears to have improved upon his form this season but critics still comment upon the player’s defensive shortcomings, regardless of how successful he may be when going forward.
The Magpies are understood to be in the market for a right-sided defender after it emerged that Danny Simpson was unlikely to sign a new deal at the Sports Direct Arena.
Simpson’s current deal at Newcastle is set to expire in the summer of 2013 and rather than lose their player on a free transfer, Alan Pardew’s side may consider cashing on the full-back in 2012.
The 2009 deal that took Johnson from Portsmouth to Liverpool is expected to have cost the Merseysiders a fee of around £17m with £10m being paid in cash while the £7m Portsmouth owed for the transfer of Peter Crouch was reduced.
Liverpool wouldn’t expect to receive the same amount that they paid for Johnson if he were to leave but would be looking to squeeze as much out of the defender as possible, reportedly placing a £10m valuation on his signature.
The England international is understood to be on wages of around £80,000-per-week at Anfield and this would undoubtedly prove the biggest obstacle for the Mike-Ashley owned Newcastle United.
The club have recently shown improved targets after clinching the January signature of Papiss Demba Cissé and will be keen to build upon what has already been a magnificent 2011-12 season.