Johnson is thought to have become frustrated with a lack of opportunities at Boro, but Southgate is determined to keep hold of what he describes as a 'special talent'.
Johnson's lack of opportunities is directly down to the performances of England's Stewart Downing and the boss says he may have to switch position to get a regular game.
"Adam is a fantastic talent and I do not want to see him leave," Southgate told the Northern Echo. "Maybe I may have to find him a new position, I'll have to look at that. I know he can play on the right.
"If we alter how we play in the middle of the park that might help Adam and Stewart play together in the same team.
"I am not afraid to let people go on the basis that they might come back to haunt you.
"It might mean certain players have left here, had to go to get first team football, which they would not have achieved here."