Glen Johnson has given a clear indication that he looks to be on his way out of Liverpool at the end of the season despite scoring the goal that got the club back to winning ways in the Premier League victory over Stoke.
Johnson put his neck on the line – literally – when he dived in for a header despite the attentions of Erik Pieters’ boot to score the only goal in the 1-0 victory at Anfield that saw Brendan Rodgers’ side record a first win in six matches.
However, soon after the game Johnson added fuel to the flames that have linked him with a Liverpool exit, given that his contract expires at the end of the season. The England international made it clear that he wants to focus on matters on the pitch but accepts the writing is on the wall for his Anfield future.
“I want to play for a club that wants me,” said Johnson, after the victory on Saturday. “I’ve seen some stuff that I have been offered half the money I am on. That’s not true. I haven’t been offered anything.
“Time goes very quick. I’ve enjoyed my time here, the majority of the six years. There have been some good times, some bad times. But if I haven’t got a contract, I can’t stay. It does play on your mind but you have to be professional and do your best. I respect my team-mates more than anyone.
“I’m not going to go crawling to anybody. They know where I am and they know the situation. There were minor talks at the end of last season but nothing that I could accept or reject.
“I don’t worry about things that I can’t control. All I can keep doing is my job. Whatever will unfold will unfold. It’s not my business to talk to other clubs. I’m concentrating on winning for Liverpool. I want to respect my contract and that’s what I will do.”
Johnson joined Liverpool in 2009 from Portsmouth in a deal worth £17.5m, and has made 183 appearances so far in his six year stay with the Reds notching nine goals in all competitions along the way.
Johnson found himself the target of Liverpool fans’ frustration when he made an error as early as the third minute, but he retained his composure and was on hand to score when Rickie Lambert’s header bounced back off the crossbar – something that Johnson said he anticipated.
“It hurts a lot less when the ball hits the net,” Johnson added. “When Rickie headed it, I thought it was going to hit the bar, so I just kept going. We fought hard and I would have been very upset if we’d only drawn. We deserved to win.”
Talk of a move has increased given reports claim Italian side Roma are ready to move for the right-back, and are willing to meet his current £120,000-a-week wages to bring him to Rome alongside his former England team-mate Ashley Cole.
As things stand, Johnson is free to discuss a move to any club at the end of the season in 31 days’ time, and players in the top-flight over the age of 24 are open to negotiations once they enter the final six months of their contract.
Johnson has also played for West Ham, Millwall and Chelsea before joining Portsmouth in 2008, where he helped the club to their famous FA Cup victory that year before leaving for the Reds a year later.
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