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Johnson poised to complete Liverpool move

  • Story Highlights
  • England right-back Glen Johnson is poised to leave Portsmouth for Liverpool
  • Liverpool will be paying in the region of $28 million for the 24-year-old defender
  • Johnson's Liverpool arrival is likely to mean a couple of players depart the club
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(CNN) -- Premier League giants Liverpool are on the brink of completing a deal to sign Portsmouth's England international right-back Glen Johnson for a fee in the region of £17 million ($28m).

Johnson has established himself as England's right-back after impressing for Portsmouth.

Johnson has established himself as England's right-back after impressing for Portsmouth.

Liverpool have confirmed they have reached an agreement with both player and club for the 24-year-old, who has been the subject of a tug-of-war in recent weeks with big-spending Manchester City and Johnson's former side Chelsea also in the running for his signature.

A Liverpool statement read: "Liverpool confirm they had reached an agreement with Portsmouth and with Glen Johnson for the transfer of the player to Anfield." Latest transfer rumors and gossip

Johnson enjoyed arguably his best season in the Premier League last term as he established himself as England's first-choice right-back and attracted the interest of bigger clubs.

But with Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez recently revealing he did not have a lot of money to spend in the transfer market, Johnson's arrival is likely to see some players leave the club, with full-backs Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid) and Andre Dossena (Juventus) being linked with moves away from Anfield.

Benitez has defended his decision to pay over the odds for the player, even though he admitted the deal has cost him more than he had hoped.

"Sometimes you have to spend a little bit more," the Spaniard told Press Association Sport. "You can't compete in the top four of the Premier League unless you spend some money.

"We were looking for a player of quality and also somebody who is British because of the new Champions League rules. Glen Johnson fits both categories."

Speaking about the need to balance the Anfield books, Benitez told the Liverpool Echo newspaper. "We have a plan. We can sign one more player if necessary, but that's without any players leaving.

"Alvaro Arbeloa has had a very good season but he has one year left on his contract. If he signs that will be good because we will have more competition, but if we get a good offer we will have to consider it."

Benitez is also hoping winger Sebastien Leto and striker Andriy Voronin -- who both were loaned out last season -- will bring in more funds along with left-back Dossena, who could return to Italy after just one season at Anfield.

Leto is on the verge of a move to Panathinaikos after he became impatient waiting for Olympiacos, where he was on loan last season, to make their move, while Voronin impressed at Hertha Berlin last season.

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