Reports stemming from Italian journalists have linked Liverpool with a surprise offer for Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna.
The Frenchman is out of contract in the summer and has yet to commit his future to the Gunners, amid reports this morning he wants a three-year-deal at £100,000 per week.
Liverpool's interest is based around the fact Glen Johnson's own contract expires in a year's time, and the England international has had an injury hit season.
We have taken a look at Opta's 2013/14 stats in key areas for the two defenders to take a look how the two players compare, and whether Liverpool would be getting an upgrade in Sagna if they pulled off a deal.
Assists and key passes
|Player||Team||Total Cross||Accurate Cross||Crossing Accuracy %||Apps||Mins|
|Player||Team||Total Tackle||Won Tackle||Tackling Success %||Last Man Tackle||Apps||Mins|
|Player||Team||Interception Won||Interceptions In Box||Apps||Mins|
Clearances, Shots blocked and Aerial Duels won
|Player||Team||Effective Clearance||Blocked Scoring Att||Aerial Duels Won||Apps||Mins|
|Player||Team||Touches||Accurate Pass||Accurate Passing %||Successful Final Third Passes||Apps||Mins|
|Name||Team||Goals||Total Scoring Att||On Target Scoring Att %||Apps||Mins|
Goals certainly aren't expected of the full-backs, but it's perhaps surprising Sagna's efforts on target are vastly superior to Johnson considering the Liverpool man has always had a fair scoring record.
While Sagna has played six more games than Johnson, in the final third he has played more than 110 more successful passes, showing he is more willing and able to get involved and join the attack. Johnson has however made more key passes (18-14), although has one less assist than his potential replacement.
Defensively, Sagna's attributes are clear. He has won more aerial duels than Johnson (90-29), and made more than double the number of effective clearances (108-43). Johnson has made more interceptions, but Sagna has made three in his own penalty area to Johnson's one.
With Liverpool's side leaking goals, three shipped at the weekend against Swansea, and two away to Fulham a fortnight ago, bringing an a defender as solid as Sagna would be a certain improvement. Considering that from an attacking point of view he shows little to no drop off compared to Johnson, tempting the Arsenal star away on a free would be an excellent piece of business by Brendan Rodgers if he can get it done.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald