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Wolves' Roger Johnson nearing final goodbye

Sport | Published:

Wolves outcast Roger Johnson could be on his way out of Molineux for good – as Kenny Jackett was linked with Newcastle midfielder Conor Newton.

Sheffield Wednesday boss and former Wolves assistant manager Stuart Gray revealed 31-year-old defender Johnson is one of several options he is pursuing as he ponders a summer of change at the back at Hillsborough.

Johnson took a sizeable pay cut on his estimated £25,000-a-week wages to join Wednesday on loan and played 17 games for them from September to January.

He was set to extend his stay when West Ham took him on loan for the rest of the season.

The £4m former Birmingham centre-back only played six games for the Hammers, though, and none since March 31, seemingly seeing any hopes of a permanent deal dashed.

But he could get another chance at Hillsborough, where he performed well in his four months on loan earlier this season.

Gray said: "Roger did well here and would be one of several options we have in mind.

"But we've got to have a few irons in the fire."

Kamil Zayette, 29, who has been injured since November, will soon be Wednesday's only centre-half under contract.

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The club have released three experienced central defenders, in Stafford-born ex-Tottenham man Anthony Gardner, 33, ex-Birmingham City stopper Martin Taylor, 34 and Miguel Llera, 34.

Gray wants to keep the pairing – Oguchi Onyewu, 31, and Glenn Loovens, 30 – that finished the season.

But the ex-Villa coach is understood to be seeking to recruit at least one centre-back this summer.

Wolves head coach Jackett said yesterday he is yet to hear from any of the clubs where the eight senior players have been on loan.

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Meanwhile, Wolves have been linked with a move for Newcastle midfielder Conor Newton, who has been released from St James' Park.

Wolves have joined St Mirren, where the 22-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan, and Sheffield Wednesday in being linked with the box-to-box man.

Newton has played 51 games and scored five goals on loan at St Mirren since initially joining in January 2013, with four goals and 40 appearances this season.

Last season he was part of their Scottish League Cup-winning side, scoring in the final in a 3-2 win over Hearts.

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