Chelsea favourites to land Boro winger Adam Johnson

The Middlesbrough and England U21 winger Adam Johnson is out of contract at the end of this season, and, according to the News of The World claims that Chelsea are the favourites to sign the talented youngster on a Bosman.

They say that Sunderland are also interested, but with Johnson free to talk to any interested clubs in January, there are bound to be many offers on the table.

But they think that Middlesbrough may decide to sell him during this transfer window rather than let him move for free in the summer as he has continually refused to sign a new contract for the last 18 months.

Strachan says that he is unlikely to be able to persuade Johnson to stay at Boro, considering that chief executive Keith Lamb and Steve Gibson have not been able to get through to him.

“How can I tempt him?” said Strachan. “I’m sure Steve and Keith, who have known him for a long time, have done their best. I don’t think I can do any better,”

“We will have to wait and see what happens in January, see where we are, see how we are playing.

“Circumstances can change in a couple of months, we are not making any promises to anyone.

“I believe Steve and Keith have made numerous attempts to sign Adam up to a new contract with Middlesbrough. I know he is a top player.

“I have only known Adam two weeks and as a manager it’s very hard to speak to someone and commit yourself in that time, just as it is hard for him.

“For 18 months the club have been trying to get him to sign a new contract. There have been proposals put to him and his family, so we have to keep working because he is a talented lad, that’s for sure.”

That sounds like Strachan is not looking to sell him in January, but intends to carry on trying to persuade him to stay right until the end of the season.

And if Johnson is serious about leaving, it will be better for him to secure the best deal for himself if he leaves in the summer, as he can command a much higher wage deal if there is no transfer fee involved.

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