Rumours in the English tabloids suggest that despite earlier claims of interest in Serie A, Glen Johnson is on the verge of signing for Stoke City on a free. English clubs have been returning to training this week ahead of the 2015-16 season, and for out of contract players like Johnson, there isn’t much time left to get themselves a new club in time to get settled before it starts.
The 30-year-old defender had previously spoken of a desire to head abroad before his career ended, possibly to Spain, but it now appears increasingly likely he will remain in England. There had been some speculation, even, as the weeks passed and he didn’t find a new home, that Johnson could end up being resigned by Liverpool on lower wages than he had previously been demanding.
Having tested the waters, though, and found no takers willing to meet his wage demands outside of England, it appears Liverpool have fully moved on from him and are not interested in offering the former England national team regular a new contract even on reduced terms. That largely leaves Johnson to hope a mid-table Premier League side might bite and offer him a contract.
It’s unlikely Stoke would offer Johnson the £100k a week he reportedly was seeking to remain at Liverpool earlier in the year. Still, given how much more money the Premier League has to throw around from top to bottom compared to all but the richest continental clubs, he might reasonably expect more from the Potters than even a club like Roma he had been heavily linked to.
Johnson has also been linked with a move to West Ham in recent weeks, but at this point it appears as though Stoke—Liverpool’s first opponents in the coming season—is his more likely landing place. One can’t imagine that was Johnson’s target when he took a hard line stance on wage demands during contract negotiations with Liverpool earlier in the year.
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