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Rumour Mongering: Punxsutawney Alves

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If Liverpool are set to lose one expensive, aging right back, it only makes sense to link them to another. Again. The better answer, though, would be to look to the players already at Anfield.

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Liverpool right back Glen Johnson has been offered a half-rate, £60k, two-year deal to stay at Anfield past the end of this season. He is, by most reports, expected to turn it down as he previously turned down a full-rate, £120k, one-year extension of his current contract. Which means Liverpool could soon be in the market for a right back.

And that means it's time for the rumour mongers to start sifting through their lists of right backs who have previously been linked. Top of that list, in what will be a surprise to absolutely no Liverpool fan who's been paying attention over the past few transfer windows, is Barcelona's Dani Alves. In related news, Dani Alves has been linked with a January move to Liverpool.

In theory, or so the rumour goes, Liverpool would ship Johnson off to Italy—possibly to AC Milan—for a nominal fee. Because he's been physically declining for a few seasons now and is highly injury prone and just not worth the £100k or more over two seasons he's been demanding. Though the problem there is nobody in Italy is going to give him the contract he wants, either.

The other problem is that the first right back on the rumour mongers' lists is a year older than Johnson, has clearly been on the physical decline for a few seasons now, is increasingly injury prone, and would also want upwards of £100k a season. It's not a potential deal that makes the sense on any remotely rational level, but that's never stopped the rumour mongers before.

If it wasn't for the fact Alves had been linked with a Liverpool move off and on for a few seasons, he's not a name anybody would be linking to the club today. But he has been, and so now he is. Again. Even if it would represent a sideways move for the club at best and, at worst, could add up to a moderate outlay to replace Johnson with another ageing star who's just as broken.

It also ignores that Liverpool already have a right back who, on current form, is at least the equal of both Alves and Johnson at this stage in their careers. They might even have two of them. Javi Manquillo may only be 20 years of age, but his unexpectedly strong start at Liverpool has seen him outperform Johnson. Meanwhile, Jon Flanagan is expected back in January.

If the question is paying £100k a week or more over multiple seasons for Glen Johnson or Dani Alves, the right answer is probably neither. That's not an answer that provides easy fodder for the tabloids and transfer rumour websites, though.