Five European destinations for adventurous defender Glen Johnson
According to reports, Liverpool defender Glen Johnson could be the latest British star to seek a move abroad.
Speaking recently, the 30-year-old Reds fullback stated: “At this point I have no idea. I haven’t thought about it. I’ve got two months left here and we will see what happens after that. I’m just going to keep my head down and keep training.
“I do like the idea of going abroad. There have been talks. I’m still young and it would be great for the kids. But I’m not thinking about that at the moment, we will have to wait and see.”
With the England international’s Anfield contract due to expire at the end of the season, Coral writers consider which continental clubs could cure the rampant right back’s apparent wanderlust.
The Parisians (14/1 with Coral to reach the Champions League final) are said to be skating on thin ice with FIFA Fair Play, so could be looking for bargain buys this summer, rather than luxury purchases in every position. Linked to big money moves for an assortment of attackers, rearguard recruitment could take a backseat.
This may open the door for Johnson, whose romps down the right flank would surely pose Ligue 1 opposition a host of problems. Current full back Serge Aurier is on loan from Toulouse with an option to buy, but PSG could well plump for free agent Johnson instead.
Johnson could also opt to follow in compatriots Ashley Cole and Micah Richards’ footsteps by swapping England for the sunshine of Serie A.
Inter Milan are said to be interested in the fleet-footed full back, but Johnson would be better served by joining the Giallorossi (8/1 to lift the Europa League), a club in serious contention for Champions League football.
With bullish Brazil defender Maicon no longer the force he once was, the opportunity for Johnson to link-up with former Chelsea clubmate Cole in the eternal city could prove too tempting.
Another Italian club that would prove a good fit for Johnson is Neapolitan outfit Napoli (13/2 to win the Europa League). Captain and current right back Christian Maggio is now 33 and could use increased competition from another experienced star, whose physical presence would certainly help Rafa Benitez’s boys in Europe.
Former Liverpool boss Benitez originally snared Johnson for the Reds for a princely fee of £17.5m back in 2009, so would surely be interested in snapping up his former charge for free, should he stay with the southern Italian side.
David Moyes has been linked with multiple Premier League raids and could conceivably move to add right back Johnson to his ranks in summer.
Sociedad are already a solid unit defensively, but have often struggled to break down teams this term, so Johnson could be an option to provide further thrust from the back.
Whether the Royals could afford the Three Lions fullback’s wages is uncertain, but the Basque Country club will surely be hoping Moyes’ reputation can help capture star players.
Los Che would also be an interesting option, and the Bats, who have been brilliant this season, could potentially offer Johnson the chance to play Champions League football next campaign.
Participation in Europe may release funds to offer an attractive salary, and Johnson’s experience would certainly be an asset for ambitious Valencia.
Squad depth will be key if the club are to challenge on all fronts next campaign and keep pace with the likes of Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.
First choice right back Antonio Barragan may have just signed a contract extension, but Los Che were already rumoured to be considering upgrading their defence in the summer.