Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said there is no hurry to offer England right-back Glen Johnson a new Anfield contract.
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Johnson, currently out of action with a sprained ankle, has just under two years to run on the extended deal he signed in 2011, and Rodgers is keen to keep the 29-year-old, who was signed in a £17.5 million deal from Portsmouth in 2009.
However, he is reportedly among the club’s highest earners and would have to take a pay cut to stay.
Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s Boston-based owners, have been unwilling to increase the salaries of players once they pass their 30th birthday, and Johnson will be two months short of turning 31 when his contract expires in June 2015.
Asked about a new deal for the defender, Rodgers told the Daily Mirror: “It’s something the club will take up at the right time. I’m not sure where it’s at.”
Johnson has not played since spraining his ankle during the 1-0 Premier League victory over Manchester United on September 1.
He is a doubt for England’s final two World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland at Wembley next month, with Liverpool’s Premier League trip to Newcastle on October 19 his likeliest return date.
In his absence, Andre Wisdom and Kolo Toure have filled the right-back slot, and Rodgers added: “Glen is the type of player [without whom] you don’t realise what you’re missing until he is not in the team. It will be great when we get him back. He’s got the cast off his foot now.”