TalkSPORT reporter Alex Crook has reiterated West Ham and Southampton’s interest in West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone ahead of the January transfer window, saying the England shot-stopper is a ‘wanted man’.
Johnstone, 28, has been in and out of headlines all season. The England and West Brom goalkeeper has featured 20 times in the Championship for the Baggies so far in this campaign, with his side sitting in 3rd-place of the table as it stands.
But Johnstone is out of contract next summer. Previous reports have claimed that Valerien Ismael’s side are ‘resigned’ to losing Johnstone for free at the end of the season but the same report has also suggested that the Baggies will cash in next month.
A host of top flight clubs have been linked, though it seems to be boiling down to a two-horse race between West Ham and Southampton.
Speaking on talkSPORT recently (via westhamzone), Crook had this to say on Johnstone’s future:
“A new goalkeeper would possibly be near the top of their [Southampton’s] shopping list, and the one who would seem to be readily available is Sam Johnstone at West Brom.
“West Ham also keeping close tabs on Johnstone. Again, like [James] Tarkowski, [he’s] available for a free next summer so West Brom might well have to cash in, again that ball park figure of £10million that Simon [Jordan] mentioned would seem like good business for them.
“I can see why West Ham are looking at a new goalkeeper, [Lukasz] Fabianski isn’t getting any younger, he has made one or two mistakes this season.
“It has been a problem position for them in the past but I think Saints probably know they need a new number one as well, so Sam Johnstone could well be a wanted man.”
What will January hold for Johnstone and West Brom?
West Brom find themselves in a really awkward position now – lose an England goalkeeper for free in six months time, in a bid to earn promotion back to the Premier League, or take the money while it’s there?
It’s been a mixed season so far for Ismael though. His side have shown a lot of inconsistencies so far and they don’t exactly look like the strongest candidates for promotion, despite sitting in 3rd.
That could quickly change, but what doesn’t look set to change anytime soon is Johnstone’s contract situation.
It seems the Baggies have to make a decision on his future in the coming weeks and then rely on bids coming in for the shot-stopper next month – if they do decide to cash in that is.