Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson believes West Bromwich Albion pair Sam Johnstone and Matheus Pereira are both guaranteed to leave the Hawthorns this summer in an interview with the Football Insider, amid strong interest in the Baggies’ players in the past couple of months.
The West Midlands side are currently recovering from their relegation from the Premier League – and have received two welcomed boosts in the last couple of weeks with Valerien Ismael finally being appointed manager and free agent Alex Mowatt set for a move to the Hawthorns after leaving Barnsley.
But despite the club being in a much better position now, interest in Johnstone and Pereira is unlikely to cease for the next couple of months now they’re back in the Championship and the Baggies will be bracing themselves for bids during this period.
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Any offers launched for Johnstone are likely to come after the European Championships, with the keeper currently acting as Jordan Pickford’s understudy for England having overcome Germany on Tuesday, although a Three Lions exit tomorrow could speed up any bids coming West Brom’s way for the 28-year-old.
They are currently holding out for £20m for Johnstone with Manchester United and West Ham interested – but may have to lower that valuation with his contract expiring next summer.
However, the Baggies are in a much better situation with Pereira, with his contract not running out until 2024.
He has also attracted interest from the Hammers, with Leicester City, Leeds United and RB Leipzig joining them in the running for the Brazilian – although it could take £30m to lure him away from the Hawthorns if Express and Star journalist Luke Hatfield’s prediction is anything to go by.
Speaking to the Football Insider, pundit Paul Robinson believes a former Brentford midfielder could be his replacement and gives his verdict on the duo’s future in the West Midlands.
He said: “I cannot see Pereira being there at the start of next season and (Emiliano) Marcondes could be his replacement.
“West Brom will get asset stripped. There is a lack of transfer activity at the moment due to the Euros and Copa America but once they finish things will pick up quickly.
“I think Pereira and Johnstone are nailed on to leave. There needs to be a rebuild to get back out of that league.”
West Brom really are in a sticky situation with Johnstone and if he doesn’t sign a new deal at the Hawthorns in the next couple of months, it’s hard to see him staying for the whole of next season with his contract up next year.
And they will not want to lose him on a free transfer after performing consistently well domestically last season.
In terms of Pereira, they could probably afford to keep him for another season without his valuation dropping, as long as the Brazilian doesn’t try to push for a move this summer.
So out of the two, he is the one who’s more likely to stay for a promotion push next season – and he will be excited by the prospect of playing with Alex Mowatt and Emiliano Marcondes if both decide to join.
But if West Brom receive tempting offers for both Johnstone and Pereira, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them both leave now they are back in the second tier of English football.