Sunderland's manager Peter Reid wanted Johnston for the weekend game against Nottingham Forest, but Rennes refused to let him leave. However a deal has now been thrashed out after weeks of negotiations with Rennes and Johnston's old club, Hearts, who will pick up pounds 100,000 compensation.
Arsenal, third in the Premiership, could be back to near full strength for tonight's visit of second-placed Liverpool, with the England goalkeeper David Seaman returning after an absence of six matches following a knee operation.
Ian Wright, Lee Dixon and Steve Bould are all available again after suspension, and should Tony Adams pass a fitness test on his ankle then Paul Merson, who had a hernia operation last week, will be the only senior player missing.
Gary Mabbutt goes into hospital today for the final operation on his broken leg. The 35-year-old Tottenham skipper will have a steel rod removed from the leg he broke on the opening day of the season at Blackburn.Reuse content