Trio battling it out for City and England winger.
Liverpool, Tottenham and Sunderland have registered an interest in signing Manchester City winger Adam Johnson.
The 25-year-old made just 10 league starts last season and is likely to be sold before the transfer window shuts.
Sunderland are the only club to submit an offer so far, but Tottenham and Liverpool have made enquiries.
If the England international does leave Etihad Stadium, it is understood City will step up their interest in Swansea forward Scott Sinclair.
Johnson joined City from Middlesbrough in February 2010 and has scored 15 goals in 97 games.
But 43 of those appearances have come as a substitute and boss Roberto Mancini is open to the idea of letting him move on.
“Adam can have a future here but you should also understand when you are 23 or 24 years old, you want to play,” the Italian said.
“If you are at a top team, you can’t always do that, so if he wants to, he has to leave. If we can find a good solution, maybe it is better.
“But if that happens I will be so sorry because Adam is a good guy.
“He is a different player to the other strikers and wingers and maybe he could be important for us.”
When Adam Johnson arrived at Man City in 2010, it was hard to see the then 23-year-old not being a huge success. The tricky winger always looked unfazed by the biggest stages and seemed likely to get better and better surrounded by City’s superstars and under the guidance of Roberto Mancini.
But Johnson has stagnated in the past eighteen months, a decline that culminated in his omission from England’s Euro 2012 squad this summer. Reports suggest that Mancini has become impatient with Johnson’s inability to fulfill his obvious potential, while Johnson himself has become frustrated at the lack of first-team opportunities afforded to him in at Eastlands.
The England midfielder now appears to have the choice of three clubs: Liverpool, Tottenham and Sunderland.
It is easy to assume that Spurs and Liverpool – as clubs in Europe and likely challengers for the top 4 – will prove the most attractives options but Johnson was a boyhood Sunderland fan (despite starting his career at Middlesbrough) and originates from County Durham.
If the speedy wide-man fancies a return to his roots plus guaranteed first-team football then Sunderland certainly look a good bet. What’s more, Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill has a record of bringing the best out of adventurous wingers, with Ashley Young and Stewart Downing prime examples.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are also desperately lacking width and Johnson would also be guaranteed plenty of opportunities to impress at Anfield and a chance to play alongside world-class players like Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez.
Don’t rule out Tottenham, however, who have already beaten the Reds to the signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson and have a chairman who loves to do his business late in the transfer window.
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