Benitez lauds impending Johnson capture


LIVERPOOL, England (AFP) – Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez lauded his club's impending capture of right-back Glen Johnson from Portsmouth on Tuesday, even if he had to shell out a top-dollar fee of a reported 17 million pounds (25 million dollars).

"Sometimes you have to spend a little bit more," said Benitez.

"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," Benitez insisted after landing the player who had also interested former club Chelsea.

Liverpool are formally due to complete the deal later this week.

Some of the fee will be written off with Portsmouth still owing money on Peter Crouch’s move from Anfield to Fratton Park last year.

Portsmouth executive chairman Peter Storrie revealed last Friday that Chelsea had matched Liverpool’s bid for the England defender after Liverpool appeared to be in the driving seat to land his services.

Storrie said: "The deals are almost identical so it really is down to him and what club he prefers, which one is going to pay him more money."

According to UEFA Champions League rules, as of 2009/2010 at least eight players have to be "locally-trained" in a squad which has registered a maximum of 25 players.