West Bromwich Albion will reportedly try to set a deadline for any bids for goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to stop the uncertainty around his future dragging on to the final days of the summer transfer window.
Despite the Baggies’ relegation from the Premier League, the 28-year-old was excellent last term – winning the club’s Player of the Season award and earning a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020.
It seems the West Midlands club are keen to get the situation wrapped up sooner rather than later, however, as The Athletic has revealed that they will attempt to set a deadline for bids for Johnstone before the end of the window.
It is understood the Baggies want to stop the uncertainty over the shot-stopper’s future dragging on into the final few days of the window.
That is in part because it will make it difficult for them to find appropriate loan moves for either Alex Palmer or David Button and keeping both if Johnstone stays could cause issues.
Additionally, the report claims that West Ham are the only team to bid for the 28-year-old so far but their offer was around half of the club’s £12 million valuation and not one they will accept.
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Setting a deadline for the Johnstone transfer is a fantastic idea from a West Brom perspective as it allows them to draw a line under the situation and ensure that they’ve sorted out their current goalkeeping conundrum.
However, they’re not in a particularly strong negotiating position and you feel it would be hard for them to turn down agreeable offers after such a deadline given the keeper is set to leave for nothing next summer.
That could leave Valerien Ismael’s squad short on shot-stoppers, should either Palmer or Button be loaned out and then Johnstone sold very late in the window.
There’s certainly an element of risk involved.