Glen Johnson has emerged as a shock target for Real Madrid as he prepares to leave Liverpool this summer, reports El Confidencial.
The 30-year-old seemed keen to remain at Anfield, but Brendan Rodgers has refused to offer him an extension to his current deal. There were reports that Liverpool had offered Johnson a contract, but it was worth just half of his £120,000-a-week wage.
Johnson seems to have decided that a new adventure away from Liverpool is best for his stalling career and Real Madrid could be about to offer him the opportunity of a life time. According to the report, it is Johnson's versatility that is attracting Carlo Ancelotti. Alvaro Arbeloa is likely to leave at the end of the summer and the former England international has been mooted as a direct replacement.
What is making this deal even more likely is Johnson's agent Jonathan Barnett. The British agent also represents Gareth Bale and was key to bringing him to the Bernabeu in 2013. He maintains close links to Real Madrid officials and is pushing for them to sign Johnson on a free transfer.
Barnett tried his best to get Ashley Cole in a Real Madrid shirt last summer, but Ancelotti could not offload Fabio Coentrao in time.
Florentino Perez is keen to bring in more English-speaking players to help Bale integrate into the group better as well. Bale only has one close friend in the Real Madrid dressing room, as claimed in the same story, in Luka Modric.
Perez believes someone like Johnson could help to bridge the gap that currently lies between Bale and the rest of the squad. There is a belief that Bale will eventually become the best player in the world and Perez is keen to build a squad around him.
Will it happen?
This is possibly one of the strangest rumours we have seen for a while as Johnson has completely fallen out of the limelight this season. His troubles with injuries have been well documented and his best form has been absent since early 2013.
But it seems Real Madrid are not too interested in his ability to play football, but his ability to help Bale ease into Spanish culture. Johnson will need to lower his wage demands to keep Real Madrid interested and will have to accept a marginal role within the squad. While it may seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, Johnson will have to think carefully before making this move.
Should Johnson move to Real Madrid even if it means sitting on the bench or should he move to a smaller club and play a key role? Give us your views in the comments box below!