Buying British costs Reds

LIVERPOOL - Coach Rafa Benitez said yesterday that Liverpool had to pay a premium to sign Glen Johnson because he is British.

LIVERPOOL - Coach Rafa Benitez said yesterday that Liverpool had to pay a premium to sign Glen Johnson because he is British.

The Reds will pay £17million (R228million) to sign Johnson, more than the manager expected a defender would cost.

The England right back agreed to join Liverpool from Portsmouth on Monday despite interest from former club Chelsea.

"Sometimes you have to spend a little bit more," Benitez said.

"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."

Benitez has criticised the UEFA rule that says clubs must have at least eight home-grown players in their squads for all Champions League games. - Sapa

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