Liverpool are considering a move in signing Sunderland star Adam Johnson, according to the Express.
The 26-year-old joined the Black Cats last summer on a £10m deal from Manchester City. The England international has been in fine form for Sunderland, especially during the second half of last season to help the club beat relegation. He scored eight goals and registered five assists from 36 league games.
The report claims the Reds' derby rivals Everton are willing to make a loan approach for Johnson this summer. However, Sunderland are unwilling to allow their winger leave for a short spell and are looking for a permanent transfer to reduce their wage bill.
Johnson is the Black Cats' highest paid player and Gus Poyet is aware that he may have to allow his star player to leave the club. This would rule out a move to Goodison Park, making way for Liverpool in landing the winger.
The Anfield club's manager Brendan Rodgers has long been monitoring Johnson and is reportedly believed to be impressed with the former City man. Liverpool allowed Fabio Borini join Sunderland on a season-long loan during the 2013/14 season.
The former Swansea manager is looking to allow the Italian forward join Poyet's side on a permanent deal, which would see them allow Johnson make a switch to Anfield this summer.
The north east outfit would part ways with their midfielder for a lower transfer fee, which would include Borini as a part of the swap deal. Should Liverpool manage to beat Everton for Johnson's signature, it will see Rodgers add quality to his side's attacking division.
Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson has heaped praise on his teammate Raheem Sterling for his form in the past one year. The Reds midfielder believes his compatriot will be a bonus for England during the World Cup in Brazil.
"You've seen that in the Premier League and even when he's played for England. He's outstanding. He has no fear. For such a young boy he's got great awareness and his knowledge of the game is really good," Henderson explained.
"He can be a big plus for us in this World Cup. He can go as far as he wants to go. He's got a good head on his shoulders, got good people around him, so he's just got to keep working hard. I'm sure he'll go right to the very top. He'll be a top, top player."