Hodgson set for further challenges keeping hold of Liverpool squad

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Reports from Italian newspaper Corriere dell Sport suggest Juventus are getting ready to increase pressure on Liverpool to sell Glen Johnson, to help booster their under-performing defence.

The Turin side have been open about their interest in the 26-year-old England international for a long time. However, it appears they are about to step up their campaign to take him away from Anfield as Luigi del Neri's has encountered even more problems with his back line.

The regular Juvents right back, Zdenek Grygera, is ruled out for at least the remainder of the month with knee ligament damage, while their stand in right back Marco Motta has been exceptionally poor. 

Despite the problems with Juventus' back four, they won 2-1 against AC Milan on Saturday. However, this still leaves them seven points from the top of the league. 

Del Neri, the Inter manager, is hoping to tempt Jonhson from Liverpool with the offer of playing for one of Europe's best teams.

However, Roy Hodgson has been defiant about the possibility of Liverpool being pressured into selling any of theirs players against their own will, stating: "We are in a situation where we hear our players are being courted by other teams but it is all just rumours."

Even if Liverpool decide to part with their highly influential right back, it will not be cheap. Johnson is in contract with Liverpool until the summer of 2013 and the new Anfield owner John W Henry has reportedly explained the club are under no pressure to sell players in January. 

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Glen Johnson
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