As Glen Johnson looks to return to the Liverpool setup for the first time after a month out, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has called on the fullback to earn himself a new contract by putting in some serious work between now and May.
The 29-year old is one of Anfield’s highest earners on a reported £110,000 per week and as he moves into the final year of his current contract, there’s speculation that the Liverpool hierarchy won’t be willing to match the aging England mans current terms. Johnson’s performances have slipped this season with the experienced fullback not looking like the player he once was, but Rodgers has suggested that he can earn himself a new deal on Merseyside if his performances get back up to snuff.
“Glen is a player we want to keep,” the Northern Irishman told the Liverpool ECHO. “In terms of his contract, I am sure that is something that will be discussed between now and the end of the season.” Rumours were swirling in the winter transfer window that Arsenal were sniffing around the experienced defender, but a number of ailments saw him shuffled off to the treatment table with Rodgers ruling him out “indefinitely” on January 23rd.
Apparently, indefinitely actually means exactly one month, with Johnson returning to full training this week and expected to play some part against Swansea City on Sunday — the 23rd of February. Arguments of hyperbole aside, Rodgers is hoping that he can hang on to the 29-year old past the summer — and maybe earn himself a new deal at the same time.
“I think we all are – players and the manager” said Anfield boss when asked if Johnson was playing for a new contract. “We are all fighting to be best that we can be for the club. Hopefully then the club sees that they want to keep you and improve you. Whether that’s Glen, the manager or whoever, we’re all fighting to stay here.”
So, contract talks haven’t started yet, Brendan?