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Rumour Mongering: Competition Grows to Land Johnson in January

Though he's fallen down the depth chart at Liverpool, it the rumour mongers are to be believed, there could be a competition to land Glen Johnson in January.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Glen Johnson may be in the final year of his Liverpool contract and, after a few seasons where the right back has looked a shadow of his former self, appears to have been passed on the depth chart by 20-year-old Javi Manquillo. If the rumour mongers are to be believed, though, that won't stop him from being a highly sought player in the January market.

Having last year rejected the idea of signing a new contract that cut his high wages, that Johnson will soon depart the club has seemed only a matter of time for much of the past year. The only question was whether he ran down his contract and left in the summer of 2015 or departed for a nominal fee in January, with rumours that Juventus was sniffing around either way.

Now, Napoli are apparently joining their Serie A counterparts, as the Mirror and others have latched on to the idea of the player being reunited with former manager Rafa Benitez in January. It may, in the end, be nothing but a manager being linked to one of his former players, but given Johnson's situation, such links at least would seem to sound plausible.

Whether Johnson ends up somewhere else in January, though, may depend less on the player's wishes and on the level of interest in him elsewhere than it will on Jon Flanagan's fitness. The young fullback recently underwent surgery on his knee and is expected back shortly before the window opens. If he is fit on schedule, it would make shipping off Johnson far more likely.

Even if a deal doesn't go through in January, Johnson's future could be settled then. The rules governing free transfers allow players whose contracts expire in the summer to sign pre-contract agreements with any club in a foreign league in January. About the only thing that seems certain at this stage is that he won't be at Liverpool beyond the current season.

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