West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone could refuse to sign a new contract at the Hawthorns and leave for free next summer, Gabby Agbonlahor has warned.
The England international won Albion’s Player of the Season award last term and was linked with a move back to the Premier League following their relegation, with West Ham United among the sides reportedly keen to offer him a route back to the top flight.
No such move has materialised and Johnstone, who is now in the final year of his current contract, looks set to remain at the Baggies this season unless anything changes in the next two weeks.
Valerien Ismael has confirmed that the club has held talks with the 28-year-old over a new deal but Agbonlahor has warned Albion that he won’t sign a new deal.
He told Football Insider: “I think he’ll just wait until next summer.
“I’ve spoken to him…I speak to Sam now and then. He’ll want to play in the Premier League. He’s just got in the England squad for the Euros and will want to get into the England squad for the World Cup. He wants to play in the Premier League and he’s good enough to play in the Premier League.
“West Brom priced him out of a move so I don’t see him signing a new contract to do them a favour. I think he’ll be stubborn and annoyed and will want to leave at the end of the season.
“We’re nearly in September now, before you know it it’ll be May and he’ll be talking about a move to a Premier League club.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding his future, Johnstone has returned to the Baggies’ starting XI and started in their last two Championship games – helping them win both.
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Agbonlahor’s warning seems to go against what we’ve been hearing about Johnstone over the past few weeks.
His performances on the pitch certainly haven’t been those of a player that is annoyed at his club, nor have his interactions with the fanbase on social media.
The release clause if Albion don’t get promoted that is said to be part of the deal offered to him would surely confirm he can move next summer and it would be a surprise if that hasn’t satisfied him.
That said, Agbonlahor is suggesting that he’s talked to the 28-year-old on the subject so it’s a warning that shouldn’t be ignored completely.
We’ll find out whether he was right in the coming weeks.