Liverpool delay contract talks with Johnson

Liverpool will hold off on entering into contract talks with Glen Johnson, the Daily Telegraph has reported, as the England defender will be 31 when his current deal comes to an end and the club’s owners, FSG, have instituted a policy of waiting until the final year of an over-30 player’s contract before discussing an extension.

The newspaper points out that even captain Steven Gerrard had to wait until the last 12 months of his contract before talks started on a new deal, while Johnson’s wage is also said to be a potential issue as the right-back is one of the highest-paid players at Anfield.

FSG have largely attempted to drive down the cost of wages at the club, particularly for players over 30, who are generally considered to be past their peak and on a downward trajectory. Johnson could be offered a longer contract if he accepts the same wage – or even a pay cut – he currently receives, but the Telegraph suggests Liverpool’s hesitation and possible contractual impasse with Johnson means the former Portsmouth player will become a transfer target for other clubs.

With Liverpool not in Europe this season Johnson would be eligible to play in the Champions League after Christmas, should the delay over contract talks become an issue between player and club and lead to Johnson seeking an early exit. Manager Brendan Rodgers is not concerned, however. “It’s something the club will take up at the right time. I’m not sure where it’s at,” Rodgers said.

Johnson is currently sidelined with an ankle injury and Rodgers revealed that Johnson has had his cast removed, with a return within a few weeks the target.

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