Several sources are linking Milan full-back Ignazio Abate with Liverpool today as a potential replacement for Glen Johnson, but there’s a problem.
The Reds aren’t his first choice.
The Mirror claims that Abate would prefer to stay at Milan and try to work out a new contract to keep him in Italy, which means any Liverpool move would rely on the Serie A side either not wanting to retain him or offering him an inferior deal.
“The 27-year-old Italian international's first choice is to remain with the Rossoneri, but will go abroad if new terms can't be reached on an extension with the Serie A giants,” reports the Mirror.
Johnson’s future is the subject of doubt due to a difference in terms in what he wants from a new contract.
Liverpool are reported to want him to come down from his current wage packet, which seems to be the main sticking point between his representatives and the club.
Abate would be a top quality and experienced replacement, but it’s also doubtful whether Liverpool need to make the fuss and effort to sign him.
The Reds have a solid replacement in the form of John Flanagan, who can play on either side of the defence, and Javi Manquillo has done a decent job since arriving on loan from Atletico Madrid.
Johnson has slotted straight back into the Liverpool team after a spell out with injury but Liverpool’s last two performances; QPR away and Real Madrid at home in the Champions League have been less than flattering.
The process of negotiations between Abate and AC Milan will potentially alert plenty of other club’s to the player’s impending availability, which also creates another potential problem for the Reds with this rumour.