Norwich to sign Bradley Johnson on free transfer

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The Independent Football

Norwich will sign Bradley Johnson, subject to the relevant paperwork being completed, after the midfielder's contract with Leeds expired.

The 24-year-old becomes Paul Lambert's fifth new addition of the summer, following strikers James Vaughan and Steve Morison, winger Elliott Bennett from Brighton and young Belgian defender Richie De Laet on loan from Manchester United to Carrow Road as the Norfolk club prepare for a first Barclays Premier League campaign since 2005.

Johnson, 24, told the club's official website, "I am over the moon really to get the chance to play in the Premier League with a big club like Norwich City and under a great manager who I have a lot of respect for.

"He is done a fantastic job since he arrived at Norwich and that was one of the main factors in me signing with the club."

Norwich are also said to be closing in on Anthony Pilkington after Huddersfield yesterday revealed the 23-year-old winger had asked to leave.

Johnson, born in Hackney, started his career in East Anglia as a trainee at Cambridge, before joining Northampton in 2005, and transferred to Elland Road three seasons later.

The combative midfielder made more than 100 appearances for Leeds, scoring 17 goals including a long-range strike in last season's FA Cup replay against Arsenal.

After Leeds missed out on promotion, finishing seventh in the npower Championship, Johnson is relishing his first taste of top-flight action with the Canaries.

"I have dreamed of playing in the Premier League since I was younger and I feel I have done a lot of hard work to get there, coming up from the Ryman League now all the way to getting a chance in the Premier League, I just can't wait to get started," he said.

"Norwich have already got some good players there and I have had some great battles with some of them over the past couple of years in my time with Leeds.

"They proved they were a good team by getting back-to-back promotions, and another deciding factor was to join a team that enjoys playing football and is hungry and has got that desire to succeed.

"I cannot wait to join up with the squad and meet everyone, get training and get a good pre-season under my belt."

Lambert is also expected to add more defensive cover before the squad head out to Germany for the start of a short pre-season tour in mid-July, but missed out on England under-21 international Steven Caulker, who joined fellow Premier League newcomers Swansea on loan from Tottenham.

The Norwich manager, though, feels in Johnson he has secured another player who buys into the current ethos at Carrow Road.

"Bradley's a strong midfielder and will come in and give everybody here a hand," said the Scot.

"He has played against Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United in the FA Cup so has played in that big game environment, and for a big club in Leeds United so he's used to playing in front of crowds.

"I believe he will be another great addition to the club."