West Bromwich Albion journalist Luke Hatfield has said it could take up to £20m for a club to poach Baggies stopper Sam Johnstone this summer, in an interview with the Football Transfer Tavern.
The goalkeeper, 28, is currently competing at the European Championships with England as Jordan Pickford’s understudy after an injury to Dean Henderson, with the Manchester United man suffering with a hip issue, Burnley’s Nick Pope already ruled out of the tournament before it even began and the uncapped 23-year-old Aaron Ramsdale coming in as Henderson’s replacement.
Johnstone performed extremely well during his international debut against Romania at the start of last month – but his appearances at a domestic level in the 2020/21 season have also caught the eye despite West Brom’s relegation and he is being heavily linked with a move back to the Premier League this summer.
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Manchester United, West Ham and Arsenal are three clubs said to be monitoring the 28-year-old, who has just 12 months left on his current deal at the Hawthorns and could be allowed to leave the Baggies in the next couple of months because of that.
New West Brom boss Valerien Ismael has said he is fully expecting the 28-year-old to depart after becoming one of the club’s best players alongside Matheus Pereira last year – and Express and Star reporter Luke Hatfield believes the Championship side could be willing to cash in on the goalkeeper in this window.
Speaking to the Transfer Tavern about his potential price tag, Hatfield said: “I think it will take between 15, maybe £20m for Albion to say, ‘Look, we’ll do a deal.’
“He only has one year left on his current deal, so Albion have a decision to make there. Will he accept a new deal with the club still in the Championship? I think that’s highly debatable.”
With just one year left to go on Johnstone’s deal and West Brom back in the Championship, the club would be wise to cash in on the goalkeeper this summer, especially if there’s a fee of £20m up for grabs.
Even if they aren’t able to receive that amount, a deal in the region of £15m would be reasonable considering his contract situation and Valerien Ismael could use that money to recruit a new goalkeeper and strengthen other areas ahead of their Championship opener against Bournemouth next month.
Losing him for free next summer would be the worst possible outcome and with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal sniffing around, he may not even stay at the club even if they are promoted back to the Premier League next year.
As painful as it may seem for West Brom fans, they need to cash in on him in this window if he fails to sign a new contract over the next month or two.