17.5m Johnson snubs Blues in favour of Liverpool move

<div>ENGLAND defender Glen Johnson is set to complete a &pound;17.5m transfer to Liverpool after rejecting a return to former club Chelsea.<br /><br />Liverpool confirmed last night they had agreed a fee with Portsmouth and personal terms with Johnson, 24, following a three-way chase for his signature.</div>
<div><br />Big-spending Manchester City were also in the running while Chelsea had been keen to re-sign a player they sold for &pound;4m in 2007.<br /><br />But the right-back, who has revived his career on the south coast, has chosen to move to Anfield and join last season&rsquo;s Premier League runners-up.</div>
<div><br />The &pound;17.5m fee is thought to include Liverpool writing off &pound;7m they are owed by Portsmouth for the sale of England striker Peter Crouch last summer.<br /><br />But with Reds manager Rafael Benitez working on a restricted budget, Johnson&rsquo;s arrival is likely to trigger defensive departures.<br /><br />Italian full-back Andrea Dossena is the most likely to leave. The 27-year-old has struggled to make an impact on Merseyside since arriving from Udinese for &pound;7m last year, and has been linked with a move back to his homeland. Spain defender Alvaro Arbeloa is another who could be sold. The 26-year-old, who can play anywhere across the back four, is reported to be a target for Real Madrid.</div>
<div><br />A club statement read: &ldquo;Liverpool FC confirmed this evening that they had reached an agreement with Portsmouth Football Club and with Glen Johnson for the transfer of the player to Anfield.&rdquo;<br /><br />Johnson had hinted that he would not favour a return to Chelsea, where his early promise stagnated after joining for &pound;6m from West Ham as an 18-year-old. He moved to Portsmouth, initially on loan, and rediscovered his best form, forcing his way back into the England team.</div>