Anfield side lead chase for Etihad Stadium bit-part player.
Liverpool have emerged as favourites to sign the Manchester City winger Adam Johnson before the transfer window closes at the end of this month.
Johnson is keen to leave the Etihad Stadium this summer in order to further his England credentials. He missed out on the final squad for the European Championship and feels this was down to his lack of regular first-team action during City’s Premier League title-winning season.
Sunderland, Spurs and Everton have all shown a serious interest and are ready to match City’s £10m asking price, which would give them a £2m profit on the 25-year-old signed from Middlesbrough in 2010.
Last night Liverpool became front-runners for his signature when their manager, Brendan Rodgers, was told he has the funds to offer Manchester City.
Johnson is the first choice as Rodgers looks to implement a more fluid style at Liverpool. Moreover it is a move that would appeal to the player, who has been champing at the bit while not becoming the regular starter he wanted to be at Manchester City.
Roberto Mancini appears to have finally relented and is ready to listen to offers for a player who has been criminally underused by the Man City boss.
Adam Johnson has struggled to retain a spot in Man City’s first team ever since his £7m move to the Etihad Stadium on February 1st 2010. Last term the former Middlesbrough wide-man made just ten Premier League starts and was not even on the bench for their opening game of the season against Southampton.
Some sources had speculated that Johnson could be used as a makeweight as Mancini looked to tempt Liverpool into selling defender Daniel Agger but Rodgers does not wish to lose the Danish international and has therefore put in a straight cash bid for the Man City man.
Sunderland are also said to be keeping an eye on the situation but Rodgers hopes that a move to the Merseyside club will trump advances from Johnson’s hometown club.
Last summer Kenny Dalglish brought in Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson as options to play on the flanks and neither player impressed and this has led to the stepping up in the pursuit of alternative wide options. Brendan Rodgers has signed Moroccan Assaidi to help in this regard but is also after a more established option to improve his attack.
Another factor that could help convince Johnson to move to Liverpool ahead of all other prospective parties is the fact that his former team-mate, and close friend, Downing is at the Merseyside club.
The pair were part of Middlesbrough’s first team set-up for five seasons before Downing left for Aston Villa and months later Johnson fled to Man City.
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