Roberto Mancini resigned to losing Adam Johnson
Spurs and Everton remain keen on Johnson, who has been capped 12 times for England, but last night Liverpool became front-runners for his signature when their manager, Brendan Rodgers, was told he has the funds to raid Manchester City.
Daniel Agger, however, is at this point not included in the prospective deal. City boss Roberto Mancini remains a fan of the 27-year-old Liverpool defender, who would cost in the region of £22m if he were to leave Anfield before the end of August, but the deal for Johnson would be a purely financial one.
But Johnson is the first choice as Rodgers looks to implement a more fluid style at Liverpool. Moreover it is a move that would appeal to the player, who has been champing at the bit while not becoming the regular starter he wanted to be at City.
"I'm the kind of player that needs to be playing regularly," he said. "Any player does, no matter what age they are. I need to play week-in, week-out. You can't just go into one game after not having played for five and be expected to perform."
Mancini has admitted he does not want to lose Johnson, but cannot offer the guarantees the forward wants.
"Adam can have a future here but you should also understand when you are 23 or 24 years old, you want to play," Mancini said. "If you are at a top team, you can't always do that, so I agree, if he wants to, he has to leave -- but if that happens I will be so sorry as Adam is a good guy.
"He is a different player to the other strikers and wingers and maybe he could be important for us."
Meanwhile, defender Martin Skrtel has signed a new "long-term" contract with the Anfield clu b.
The move will end speculation over the 27-year-old's future having been linked with clubs such as Manchester City and Fiorentina over the summer.
Skrtel has become a vital member of the Reds side and was voted the Anfield club's player of the season in 2011-12. "I'm happy because I am a part of one of the biggest clubs in the world," the Slovakian said. (© Independent News Service)