Liverpool’s Glen Johnson and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale on Inter Milan hit list as Rafa Benitez looks for Maicon replacement

July 7th, 2010

Flashback: Benitez (right) welcomes Glen Johnson to Liverpool last summer (Photo: PA)

Rafa Benitez hopes to take Glen Johnson or Gareth Bale to Inter Milan as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Maicon.

The Italian champions are ready to cave in on their Brazil right back’s desire to be reunited with Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu and are expected to do a deal for about £25million with the Spaniards.

Inter had been hoping for nearer £30m – £10m more than Madrid’s valuation of the 28-year-old – but the European champions know that Maicon’s heart is set on following Mourinho.

Benitez sees his former Liverpool man Johnson as a like-for-like replacement as a defender who is comfortable getting forward down the right flank.

Highly rated: Spurs defender Bale has several admirers in Italy (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)

An alternative would be Tottenham Hotspur defender Bale, according to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, even though the Wales international operates down the opposite flank.

Argentina veteran Javier Zanetti and 19-year-old rising star Davide Santon have both played at left back but are equally comfortable down the right, opening the way for Inter to bid for Bale.

A move for either of the Barclays Premier League stars will be hard to complete. Bale, 20, is highly regarded in Italy and has also been tracked by AC Milan and Juventus.

However, Harry Redknapp is keen to hold on to the 20-year-old and reports in Italy claim that Spurs scared off Italian suitors in January by quoting an asking price approaching £20m.

Johnson is likely to cost even more given that Benitez signed him for Liverpool from Portsmouth for £17m last summer.

The 25-year-old has three years left on a staggering £139,000-a-week contract and Inter’s hopes for signing him may rest on the cash-strapped Merseysiders being tempted to take him off the payroll.

Source: Daily Mail

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