Liverpool up Johnson bid to �15m

LIVERPOOL have launched a fresh �15million bid to land Portsmouth right-back Glen Johnson. (Daily Mail)Manager Rafa Benitez identified the England defender as a target this season but did not have anywhere near the budget to land the player.

LIVERPOOL have launched a fresh �15million bid to land Portsmouth right-back Glen Johnson. (Daily Mail)

Manager Rafa Benitez identified the England defender as a target this season but did not have anywhere near the budget to land the player.

However, Portsmouth still owe around �7m from the �12m transfer of striker Peter Crouch last summer, and Benitez hopes to use that to good effect in his bargaining for Johnson.

The 24-year-old former Chelsea defender signed an improved four-year contract in January but would jump at the chance of a move to Anfield as Benitez looks to add key signings in preparation for a renewed assault on the Barclays Premier League title.


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Pompey's financial problems - with owner Sacha Gaydamak still looking for a buyer - mean they will want to drive the price as high as possible, and Liverpool are wary of being dragged into an auction with other clubs.

Tottenham are known to be interested in Johnson, and there will be other bidders with easier access to funds than Benitez.

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Liverpool have earmarked a chunk of their squad as being disposable this summer, and the manager accepts he will have to offload players to fund the signings he wants, which could slow the process.

With Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry and United's Carlos Tevez also on his wish list, Benitez might be forced to prioritise and that could jeopardise the Johnson deal.

One way of raising funds would be to sell Xabi Alonso amid growing interest from Real Madrid. If Benitez decides to sell the Spain midfielder, he would rather do business with Real but he is also weighing up other options.

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