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Sagna and Fucile lead stop-gap targets for Liverpool at right back

| 19.02.2014

Only Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard are paid a higher weekly wage at Liverpool than Glen Johnson and given the club’s defensive problems, the England right-back is expected to be made available for transfer in the summer.

Although still one of the Premier League’s best attacking full-backs, Johnson’s contribution has not been at its most potent this season, with no goals and just the one assist in 17 Premier League appearances.

These statistics do not stack up well with the likes of Everton’s Seamus Coleman and Tottenham’s Kyle Walker, who are regarded as the most similar to Johnson from an attacking stance in the top-flight.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have hardly been watertight in defence either, conceding twice or more in 10 of their 26 games thus far, which is more than Hull and the same as West Brom.

This certainly needs improving in the latter half of this season if Liverpool’s odds of 8/1 to win the Premier League are to prove profitable.

A defensive shuffle is likely in the summer, but next season may still prove too early for highly-regarded Northern Irishman Ryan McLaughlin, who looked good in a pre-season tour of the US and is currently on loan at Barnsley.

Therefore, Liverpool will want a stop-gap option at right back for a season or two, who is on a cheaper wage than Johnson.

Bacary Sagna is one name that has been mentioned and given that the Frenchman is out of contract in the summer, he would look an ideal choice.

However, Sagna’s wages would not offer a major saving on Johnson and he would probably want a three-year deal, which is likely to be longer than Liverpool would ideally want to offer.

An alternative option is Uruguay international Jorge Fucile, who has been out of favour at Porto this season and would demand substantially lower wages than Johnson currently earns.