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Thursday 20 October 2016

Johnson set for Stoke move

Published 11/07/2015 | 09:16

Glen Johnson is set to join Stoke
Glen Johnson is set to join Stoke

Stoke look set to announce the signing of former Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson as they continue their summer recruitment drive.

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No deal has been officially confirmed but Stoke boss Mark Hughes admitted on Saturday morning that the 30-year-old England international's experience would be a valuable addition to the squad.

Speaking to Sky Sports from Stoke's pre-season tour to Singapore, Hughes said: " Glen's a very experienced player, we obviously feel that the qualities that he has will help us.

"We're a team that's trying to progress and you do that by getting good players into your squad and they will help us.

"Glen has played at a high level for a very long time and we can benefit from that."

Johnson is a free agent after being released by Liverpool when his contract ran out at the end of last season.

The right-back spent the last six years at Anfield having previously played for Portsmouth, Chelsea, Millwall and West Ham.

He has won 54 caps for England since making his debut in 2003 and was part of Roy Hodgson's squad at last summer's World Cup.

The capture of Johnson would follow the arrivals of Shay Given, Marco van Ginkel, Joselu, Philipp Wollscheid and Jakob Haugaard this summer as Stoke look to build on last season's ninth-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League.

The Potters had also been looking to bring in Inter Milan's Xherdan Shaqiri but Hughes says the club have now "stepped aside" in their pursuit of the Switzerland international and turned their attention elsewhere.

Hughes said of the 23-year-old: "We expressed an interest, we put a bid in, but we needed really to set a deadline.

"We've got other irons in the fire and sometimes if you invest too much time in one deal, then you can lose others. That was the case with this one so we've stepped aside and we're looking at other things now."

While Stoke have been busy bringing in reinforcements, they have seen Steven Nzonzi leave for Europa League winners Sevilla this week and look set to lose goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to Chelsea.

Asked the latest on the Begovic situation, Hughes said: "I haven't had an update today but my understanding is that he's likely to travel to Chelsea and that will be concluded."

Hughes also backed the Bosnia and Herzegovina international to push Thibaut Courtois hard for the number one jersey if he joins the Premier League champions and not just settle for a back-up role.

" I would imagine, having worked with Asmir, that he'll back his ability and he would think he will challenge and get game time there, or he wouldn't have gone there," the former Chelsea striker said.

"He's a confident goalkeeper and a very accomplished goalkeeper so he'll push whoever's in the number one very, very hard."

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