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English Premiership

Poulsen completes Liverpool switch

LONDON, August 12- Liverpool have completed the signing of Juventus midfielder Christian Poulsen, paving the way for the possible departure of Argentina captain Javier Mascherano.Poulsen, a 30-year-old Denmark international, has joined the Reds on a three-year deal for an initial fee of 4.5million pounds (5.4 million euros), payable in two instalments.

Juventus will receive a further one million pounds (1.21 million euros) depending on certain conditions.

Poulsen links up with Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson for a second time, having been signed by him first time around for FC Copenhagen in 2000.

A statement on Liverpool’s website, www.liverpoolfc.tv, said: "Liverpool FC are delighted to confirm the signing of Christian Poulsen after the midfielder put pen to paper on a three-year deal.

"The 30-year-old, who has been capped 77 times by Denmark, arrives from Italian giants Juventus and will wear the No.28 shirt.

"Poulsen has previously worked with Roy Hodgson at FC Copenhagen, where he was given his first big break by the current Reds boss."

Juventus had earlier announced a fee had been agreed in a statement which said: "Juventus Football Club can announce that it has completed the agreement with Liverpool FC for the outright transfer of Christian Poulsen for a fee of 5.475 million euros payable in two instalments.

"The fee will further increase by up to 1.2million euros depending on his achievements during the contract period."

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Poulsen’s arrival could be the first step in the eventual departure of combative midfielder Mascherano, who asked Hodgson for a transfer on the day he returned to pre-season training after an extended break following the World Cup.

Mascherano is keen to be reunited with former Reds boss Rafael Benitez at Inter Milan, although the Serie A club appear unwilling to meet Liverpool’s 25 million pounds (30.4 million euros) valuation.

Barcelona, who tried to sign Mascherano 12 months ago, are also believed to be interested in the 26-year-old having failed in their bid to sign Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas.

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