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 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.
Back then, Sunderland were also in the running for the North-east winger, but lost out to the spending power and the possibility of winning things at the Etihad. The Wearsiders have the funds in place once again to sign Johnson, with Martin O'Neill eager to add the winger to his squad.
Spurs and Everton remain keen on Johnson, who has been capped 11 times for England, but last night Liverpool became front-runners for his signature when their manager, Brendan Rodgers, was told he has the funds to raid Manchester City.
Daniel Agger, however, is at this point not included in the prospective deal. The City manager, Roberto Mancini, remains a fan of the 27-year-old Liverpool defender, who would cost in the region of £22m if he were to leave Anfield before the end of August, but the deal for Johnson would be a purely financial one.
In a bid to strengthen his squad Rodgers has also tracked the Barcelona winger Tello, who played in Sunday's 5-1 La Liga win over Real Sociedad. Johnson, however, is the first choice as Rodgers looks to implement a more fluid style at Liverpool.
City meanwhile, expect to learn the full extent of Sergio Aguero's injury at the end of the week. The Argentina striker was carried off inside the first 10 minutes of Sunday's opening game against Southampton after damaging his right knee. He later said there was no significant damage but City's medical staff are still assessing the injury.Reuse content