Portsmouth closing in on exciting Accrington and former Middlesbrough right-back

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Pompey are closing in on making Accrington's Callum Johnson their third signing of the summer.

The News understands the defender is on the verge of completing a move to Fratton Park for a fee of around £200,000 plus add-ons.

Kenny Jackett has identified Johnson as a ball-carrying right-back who can boost the Blues’ League One promotion push.

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The ex-Middlesbrough man is someone who likes to get forward and whip crosses into the box, while he is also sound defensively.

Johnson's been an indispensable player during his three years at the Wham Stadium.

He initially arrived on loan from Boro in the summer 2017 before making his move permanent the following January.

Johnson helped Stanley clinch the League Two title in 2018, while he's played a key role as John Coleman’s side have retained their third-tier status in the past two seasons.

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In total, he’s made 119 appearances for Accrington, scoring one goal.

Callum Johnson in action against Burton in the Carabao Cup on Friday. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Callum Johnson in action against Burton in the Carabao Cup on Friday. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Callum Johnson in action against Burton in the Carabao Cup on Friday. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The 23-year-old featured for Stanley in their penalty shootout defeat to Burton in the Carabao Cup first round on Friday evening.

Johnson played the entire 90 minutes and came through unscathed ahead of a switch to the south coast.

He has a year left on his deal at Accy, after the club took the option of extending his contract by 12 months earlier this summer.

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And he’ll be an exciting addition to Jackett’s squad as Pompey again push for promotion to the Championship.

Johnson will compete with James Bolton for the right-back spot at Fratton Park.

The pair’s attributes will dovetail together as the Blues look to go one better this campaign after suffering play-off semi-final defeat to Oxford last term.

Bolton's regarded as defensively more solid, after making 33 appearances during his maiden season at PO4 following his arrival from Shrewsbury last summer.

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But Johnson’s more attack-minded and likes to drive out from the back.

That’s a quality the Blues have lost after Ross McCrorie returned to Rangers following his season-long loan last term.

Pompey also have 18-year-old Haji Mnoga as a right-back option.

He was named on the bench at Stevenage last week but is still to make his Football League debut.

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Johnson will need to be signed by tomorrow to be available for Colchester’s visit to Fratton Park in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday (7.45pm).

He will become the Blues’ third signing of the summer, after Cameron Pring arrived on a season-long loan from Bristol City and Sean Raggett completed a permanent switch from Norwich.

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