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Update emerges on West Ham’s pursuit of West Brom star



West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has remained a ‘top target’ for Premier League side West Ham United during the January transfer window, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke who spoke to Give Me Sport.

The 28-year-old has been the subject of interest from the Hammers since last summer, originally being credited as one of three main top-tier sides thought to have been interested in pursuing his signature along with Arsenal and Manchester United.

Despite this widespread interest in his services though, it was only David Moyes’ side who went ahead and submitted a formal bid during the previous transfer window in an attempt to lure him away from The Hawthorns.

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Jordan Hugill?

This offer was reported to be in the region of £6m, an offer officials at The Hawthorns rejected after previously said to have been holding out for £20m for one of their most valuable assets.

Despite this hefty eight-figure valuation though, the shot-stopper’s contract in the West Midlands expires at the end of this campaign and talks regarding a potential extension are thought to have stalled as the England international potentially weighs up his options.

He may have no shortage in those either, with Newcastle United, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur three other Premier League teams reportedly monitoring his situation in the second tier as he looks to get back to the top flight at the first time of asking with the Baggies, starting in all but one of their 25 league games so far this season.

Despite their failed pursuit in the summer, journalist O’Rourke revealed yesterday to Give Me Sport that they haven’t given up hope on securing the 28-year-old, saying: “Sam Johnstone is definitely a top target for the Hammers.

“They were interested in the summer in Johnstone but couldn’t agree a deal with West Brom.

“That’s why they ended up signing Areola on loan, which was a cheaper option in that respect.”

The Verdict:

Having both Alphonse Areola and Johnstone as options would be the dream for Moyes’ side – and permanent deals for both could potentially happen with Lukasz Fabianski and Darren Randolph’s futures at the London Stadium currently unclear.

However, both potential new signings would want to come in and be the Hammers’ number one, so it’s likely that they will only be able to get one deal over the line.

England international Johnstone will be especially keen to start with a World Cup place on the line, so the 28-year-old may wait until the summer to see if the top-tier team activate the permanent option in Areola’s contract.

Holding out until the end of the season will also allow Johnstone to assess his options, judge where he will play the most first-team football and potentially enable him to negotiate a more lucrative wage which will be a small bonus for him.

This is why it would be hard to see a move materialising this month, but you certainly can’t rule it out with promotion for current side West Brom not guaranteed at the end of the campaign, even with the arrival of Daryl Dike.

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 West Ham’s pursuit of West Brom star

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