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Update emerges on Sam Johnstone’s West Brom future amid Southampton and West Ham interest



Championship side West Bromwich Albion are resigned to losing goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for free next summer on the expiration of his contract, according to the Daily Mail.

The 28-year-old has been the subject of intense interest over the past few months, with Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham emerging as the early contenders to secure his signature in the summer.

However, it was only the latter that opted to make a formal approach to the Baggies, submitting a reported £6m bid that fell below officials’ valuation of one of their most important assets at The Hawthorns.

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More top-flight clubs have entered the race since then, with Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton both said to be monitoring his situation in the West Midlands after his side’s current relegation back to the Championship this season.

Despite this demotion, England international Johnstone has seemingly established himself as Gareth Southgate’s second-choice keeper for the Three Lions, keeping Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale and Burnley’s Nick Pope at bay for the time being.

Remaining in the Championship could put the 28-year-old in danger of being overtaken in the pecking order by Ramsdale though, who has been superb for the Gunners since his summer move from Sheffield United and overtaken Bernd Leno to become a regular starter under Mikel Arteta.

But it now seems as though the current West Brom man will be joining the 23-year-old in the Premier League before the next World Cup in Qatar, with the second-tier outfit now said to be expecting him to leave.

Contract negotiations were conducted regarding a potential extension on his deal after seeing him fail to secure a summer move away, but those talks have since stalled and the Baggies face the prospect of losing one of their most valuable assets for free.

The Verdict:

From a West Brom perspective, this is a real disaster and makes promotion a must if they want to have any chance of retaining the 28-year-old, who will be a great asset wherever he ends up next season.

Not only was he impressive in the top flight last term, but he has also developed his game under manager Valerien Ismael with the Frenchman’s playing style and even supplied a wonderful assist for Jack Grealish against Andorra on international duty last month, which would have only increased interest in his services further.

With this latest development, Ismael’s side have a difficult decision to make.

Do they cash in when January comes around to generate at least some funds on his departure and change their first-choice shot-stopper midway through the season? Or do they gamble and keep hold of him as a vital asset in their quest for promotion?

David Button is a capable and experienced understudy who can step up and the talented Josh Griffiths could potentially be recalled and come in to become the club’s second-choice goalkeeper for the remainder of the season.

But with all due respect to the duo, losing Johnstone would be a crushing blow considering how vital he is to this West Brom team, so negotiations on fresh terms should continue in the coming weeks and months to pull off a miracle in tying him down.

It won’t be easy, but they shouldn’t admit defeat yet.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Update emerges on Sam Johnstone’s West Brom future amid Southampton and West Ham interest

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