Napoli manager Rafael Benitez is keen on having a reunion with Liverpool defender Glen Johnson, and is feeling hopeful that he can sign him next summer on a free transfer, reports the Mirror.
The England international has just eight months left on his current deal at Anfield, and has recently admitted that there are no plans of holding contract talks with the club as of yet, insinuating that the right-back could be allowed to leave the club on a free come June.
Out of Favour
The 30-year-old, who has been injured for most of the 2014/2015 campaign, has lost his first-team place to new arrival, Javier Manquillo, and is also considered behind youngster, Jon Flanagan in the pecking order as well.
Despite being at the club since 2009, and making over 100 appearances for the Merseyside club, Johnson isn't well received by a lot of the Reds fans, and with his contract expiring next year, his time in the Premier League could be over.
The former-West Ham, Chelsea and Portsmouth defender has been in England all his career, but a move to Italy could be on the horizon, with his former-boss interested in signing him.
Benitez, who has been at Napoli for a couple of seasons now, is keen to add defensive reinforcements to his side, and despite the club not being in a great position financially, a free agent could be right down their street, which Johnson could become if contract talks continue to stall.
Due to the Bosman Ruling, Napoli would be able to hold initial contract talks with Johnson as soon as January, meaning he could agree a deal in principle to join any overseas club in the Summer once his deal at Liverpool expires.
When asked about his contract situation, Johnson admitted that it's going slowly, hinting that there could be no further talks at all, leaving him free to leave the club.
Johnson said: "Like you said it's very quiet. I am just concentrating week by week and not thinking about it.
"Of course I want to stay, yeah. But like I say I worry about this week, this week and then next week, next week. That is how I live my life."
Benitez worked with Johnson for two years during his managerial reign at Anfield, and is keen to reunite with him in Italy next year.