Manchester City midfielder Adam Johnson has admitted to considering leaving the Etihad in search of more playing time. Johnson's problem was particularly highlighted when the former Middlesbrough man was not included in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the 2012 European Championships as a result of limited playing time.
The 25 year old was selected for the recent friendly against Italy and played the full 90 minutes. Johnson now knows he will need to have more consistent first team exposure if he is to remain in Hodgson's plans for the future and the best way to do is to be playing regularly, even if it means he has to leave Manchester City. Everton are reportedly interested.
"I'm the kind of player that needs to be playing regularly. Any player does really, no matter what age they are. I need to play week-in week-out. You can't just go into one game after not having played for five and be expected to perform. It would be nice to get a run of games with England but I'm not sure if I'll get that chance at City. Time will tell," the ESPN report quoted Johnson as saying.
An earlier IBTimes UK report suggested Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was keen to offload the midfielder as soon as he completes the signing of Swansea City forward Scott Sinclair. Furthermore, apart from Johnson, it appears Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz will also leave the club, for similar reasons.
The 31 year old striker has spent the last two years out on loan with different clubs and reportedly wants a permanent deal with Spanish side Real Betis, for whom he played last season. Santa Cruz is also being targetted by Bundesliga club Werder Bremen and an unidentified Qatari club. The move to Betis, it is believed, will ask Santa Cruz to forego any compensation due to him by City, so that the Spanish club can sign him on a free.
Finally, Mancini has been handed a major injury blow after it was revealed defender Micah Richards could be out of action for more than two months after an ankle injury picked up when representing Great Britain at the London Olympics 2012. The news comes after preliminary tests indicated the time out would be only half as much and could also indicate that Mancini will step up his pursuit of Liverpool defender Daniel Agger to provide defensive cover for his team.