Liverpool are reportedly considering launching a cut-price move for Sunderland winger Adam Johnson and may send Fabio Borini back to the Stadium of Light in a bid to stop Everton signing the England international, according to The Express.
Johnson has reluctantly been made available for transfer by Sunderland as they look to restructure and get high earners off the wage bill, with Everton the first to declare an interest in a season-long loan deal.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet would prefer not to let Johnson join a Premier League rival on loan and if forced to lose his wing wizard wants a transfer to free up funds, which is where Liverpool come in.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is targeting new additions in all areas as be build to find the strength in depth necessary to deal with the demands of Champions League football, which means he may let Borini re-join Sunderland in a cash-plus-player switch.
Johnson showed flashes of his quality to help Sunderland survive last season, scoring 10 goals including a hat-trick against Fulham, but still found himself on the bench during crucial matches thanks to inconsistency.
Borini on the other hand was a trusted starter under Poyet during a successful loan spell in the North East last season, also finding the target 10 times, including the opener in the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City.
Despite those encouraging signs Rodgers has already moved to sign veteran forward Rickie Lambert this summer, which means Borini faces a tough battle to play consistently at Anfield next season if he decides to stay on Merseyside and fight for his place.
Rodgers is still after attacking midfield players despite having the likes of Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho at his disposal, which means a surprising cut-price move for Johnson may well be on the cards.