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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005, 08:05 GMT 09:05 UK
Johnson commits future to Palace
Crystal Palace and England striker Andy Johnson
Crystal Palace striker Andy Johnson has signed a new five-year contract with the Championship outfit.

The 24-year-old England player had been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park after handing in a transfer request following their relegation.

"It's been a difficult couple of months and I have committed my future to Crystal Palace," said Johnson.

"Now I want to let my football do the talking and fire Palace back to the Premiership, which I know we can do."

Johnson hit 21 league goals in the Eagles' unsuccessful Premership campaign and Everton, Tottenham and West Brom were all interested in his signature.

He had expressed his desire to leave by handing in a transfer request in June, saying he did not want his hopes of playing in next year's World Cup to be damaged by playing in the Championship.

But Palace chairman Simon Jordan says the club have received assurances from England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson that Johnson will still be in his thoughts.

"We have spoken to Sven and Andy has every chance of being in the England squad that goes to Germany," he said.

Manager Iain Dowie added: "Playing in the Championship is no barrier to him being in the England squad.

"You always fear that you might lose him but we never wanted to sell him."

Jordan also criticised the conduct of Andrew Johnson's agent Leon Angel after the striker signed a new five-year deal.

"We never saw or heard from the agent for five months," said Jordan.

"A week after last season had finished he was asking for a mandate to sell a player he had done nothing for.

"The agent advised his client badly and misjudged the calibre of the people he was dealing with," added Jordan.

In a written statement Angel rejected Jordan's criticism.

"We have acted on our client's instructions and it was the player's wish to ask for a transfer. We act for the player and not the club."

Palace signed Johnson from Birmingham for 750,000 in July 2002.

Statement: Andy Johnson

Interview: Iain Dowie

Report: BBC London's Steve Houghton


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