Barcelona transfer news: Glen Johnson 'remains on Luis Enrique's radar' in surprise swoop for Stoke City defender

Aleix Vidal's failure to settle at Barcelona has led Enqirue to consider alternative options

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The Independent Football

Glen Johnson remains a surprise transfer target for reigning Spanish champions Barcelona, with reports circulating that the Stoke City defender will be on his way to the Nou Camp when the January transfer window opens.

32-year-old Johnson first emerged as a surprise candidate to move to Barcelona at the start of last month, with Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne also thrown into the mix. With Aleix Vidal’s career at the Nou Camp looking over before it’s started following his disastrous £16m move from Sevilla, Barcelona are on the lookout for a new right-back in the new year to strengthen their pursuit of another treble-winning season.

After seeing Dani Alves leave the club during the summer, Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique hoped £16m addition Vidal would slot in to his place in the first-team, but that hasn’t happened in the slightest. Instead, Enrique has chosen to deploy regular midfielder Sergio Roberto on the right, with Vidal rarely making the substitutes’ bench.

With Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti currently injured, Enrique has been forced into a major defensive reshuffle, and part of his plan to address this is to bring in reinforcements in the January transfer window.

One of those targets is England international Johnson, according to the Daily Mail, and the Spanish club’s plan is to try and bring the veteran defender in if they can loan out Vidal. With Johnson in the final year of his contract at Stoke, Barcelona hope he can be signed on a short-term permanent deal before they can look for a long-term solution in the summer.

Johnson has also been given a seal of approval by his former Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez, and his glowing reference of Johnson in his autobiography has been related to the club in order to help them with their hunt for a new right-back.

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Johnson is out of contract with Stoke at the end of the season (Getty)

Suarez said of the former Chelsea defender: “He impressed me hugely. He has a combination of physical strength, power and intelligence and technically he’s so good that despite being right footed he shoots better off of his left foot.”

Liverpool are hugely unlikely to allow Clyne to leave this season given they currently sit top of the Premier League with the England international their first-choice right-back, and Barcelona are also said to be monitoring Shakhtar Donetsk’s Croatian international Darijo Srna as a similar short-term option.

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