Rodgers confident Johnson will commit to Reds

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he does not want to lose any more senior players in the summer and remains hopeful out-of-contract defender Glen Johnson will sign a new deal.

Rodgers confident Johnson will commit to Reds

With captain Steven Gerrard joining Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season the Reds boss admits he cannot afford to lose the diminishing number of experienced players in his youthful squad.

That means midfielder Lucas Leiva, who has been linked with several moves this season but has subsequently become a key part of the side’s revival, is also likely to be retained.

Negotiations with right-back Johnson, who will be 31 at the start of next season, stalled at the beginning of the campaign as the club wanted to extend his stay on reduced terms due to his age. That was not accepted by the England international and, despite there being no progress since, Rodgers hopes an upturn in the team’s fortunes plus will persuade the player to remain.

“We can’t have three or four leaving next season,” said Rodgers. “The intention will be to keep everyone, partly because of the mix in the group.

“Steven will obviously be a loss, when you are losing someone of that calibre of man and player it would be a loss to any club, but you move on. “For the younger players to develop their potential they are going to need that seniority around them. “Glen Johnson we want to keep, Lucas we want to keep. I know the club and his (Johnson’s) agents spoke towards the beginning of the season but I am hopeful he will stay.”

Rodgers believes his squad are now starting a slow build-up to be title challenges again next season after running Manchester City a close second in May.

“Come the summer time that period of integration should be complete and we can challenge for the title like we did last season.”

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