Rafa’s first interview on Johnson

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez says he had to pay more for the capture of his first major signing of the summer, Portsmouth right-back Glen Johnson, because he is British.

Despite reports that Liverpool are in financial turmoil, Benitez has splashed £17.5million on the 24-year-old England international, though he admits it’s more than he would have liked to have spent.

“Sometimes you have to spend a little bit more,” said Benitez. You can’t compete in the top four of the Premier League unless you spend some money.

“We were looking for a player of quality and also somebody who is British because of the new Champions League rules. Glen Johnson fits both categories.”

He added that his transfer kitty doesn’t stop there and won’t necessarily have to offload any players to raise funds, amid speculation linking Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano with big money moves to La Liga.

He continued, “We have a plan. We can sign one more player if necessary, but that’s without any players leaving.”

Johnson is expected to be officially unveiled as a Liverpool player later this week.