Premier League - Liverpool to sign Johnson

Liverpool are set to sign England right-back Glen Johnson after confirming they have reached an agreement with both the player and his club Portsmouth.

The Reds have been linked with the defender for a number of weeks while Pompey executive chairman Peter Storrie claimed last week Johnson's former club Chelsea were willing to pay £18 million for the 24-year-old.

And a statement from the club on Monday night said: "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."

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.

Storrie admitted last week that there was every chance Johnson could leave Fratton Park this summer, especially with the size of the fee being talked about.

Rafael Benitez has not spoken of his interest in Johnson - many Reds fans would prefer him to reinforce his squad in other areas - but Johnson's impending arrival would seem to suggest Alvaro Arbeloa will be sold to Real Madrid sooner rather than later.

Johnson's first crack at the big time fizzled out when, after joining Chelsea from West Ham in 2003, he struggled to secure a regular first-team place and was loaned to Portsmouth before making the move permanent in 2007.

Storrie said last week: "Glen has obviously had a fantastic season for us and has established himself as one of the best right-backs in the league if not the country at the moment.

"I've known Glen for a long time since his West Ham days so when I re-signed him we talked it over and he asked if one of the big four clubs, who were in the Champions League, came in for him would we stand in his way of a move.

"I said that I couldn't do that provided the deal is good for Portsmouth and for Glen."
PA Sport

Confederations Cup - Alves late show puts Brazil in final

Eurosport - Thu, 25 Jun 21:49:00 2009

A late Daniel Alves free-kick gave Brazil a 1-0 win over a spirited South Africa side to set up a Confederations Cup final clash with the USA.

Seven minutes after coming on as an 80th-minute substitute, the Barcelona full-back (pictured) rifled an unstoppable free-kick from the edge of the penalty area that impressive keeper Itumeleng Khune was helpless to stop from nestling just inside the far post.

It was an excellent strike in a disappointing performance from Brazil, who were more than matched by a team that were a Benni McCarthy short of a good international side.

The opening 45 minutes was an evenly matched affair where the Bafana Bafana worked hard and gave Brazil little to work with.

The hosts looked on a similar level to their illustrious opponents and had the best chance of the first half when skipper Aaron Mokoena somehow headed over from close range after he arrived unmarked to meet Teko Modise's right-wing free-kick.

While they were cautious in attack and lacked the confidence to release the quick final balls needed to punish Brazil, Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar rasped a drive towards goal that was expertly tipped behind by Julio Cesar.

Brazil had chances through Ramires and Kaka that were both smartly saved by Khune, but they could not establish either their traditional attractive passing rhythm or the defend-and-counter tactic that coach Carlos Dunga recently established.

The second-half followed a similar pattern.

A low shot by Modise forced an excellent stop by Julio Cesar after it took a wicked deflection off Luizao that wrong-footed the Internazionale shot-stopper.

Just after the hour mark Robinho sent a bicycle kick just wide, the Manchester City man improvising after a Luis Fabiano cross was blocked into his path.

The next 25 minutes were very quiet in terms of chances, although both sides toiled in the face of stout defending.

Brazil seemed short on ideas and inspiration, with even Kaka and Robinho struggling to show their usual flair against a defence that was superbly marshalled by Matthew Booth.

But they got their break when, with four minutes remaining, Mokoena fouled Ramires on the edge of the box.

Alves, who came on for the poor Andre Santos, stepped up and showed his class to put the favourites in Sunday's final.

South Africa, meanwhile, face the unenviable task of a third-place play-off against European Champions Spain.
Reda Maher / Eurosport

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