Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers have joined the race for West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone according to The Athletic, amid strong interest in him this summer.
The future of the top-flight side’s goalkeeper Rui Patricio’s is up in the air and although new manager Bruno Lage wants the Portuguese man to remain at Molineux according to the same report, they already have the 28-year-old Englishman on their shortlist as a potential replacement.
Johnstone made more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper last term, but was unable to save the Baggies from the drop as they finished 19th under Sam Allardyce.
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His performances, combined with Nick Pope’s injury, earned the stopper a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s provision 33-man squad last month ahead of the European Championships – and made the final cut over Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale as the group was whittled down to just 26.
With Dean Henderson’s injury and the uncapped Ramsdale being called up as a result, Johnstone is now Jordan Pickford’s understudy after impressing earlier in the month against Romania and if the Everton keep becomes unavailable, it’s likely the West Brom stopper will get his chance to impress on a European stage.
But regardless of whether Johnstone receives his tournament chance or not, he is still likely to attract more interest as the summer goes on with his current club back in the Championship and the 28-year-old’s contract coming to an end next summer.
Manchester United and West Ham United are also interested in Johnstone – but the £20m price tag could deter the trio from making a move as he becomes available for free in just 12 months.
For the goalkeeper, this would be an ideal move. Wolves have established themselves as a solid Premier League side under Nuno Espirito Santo and will look to continue this under their new appointment – and if they can agree a fee with West Brom – Johnstone will be able to stay put in the West Midlands to link up with a new club.
According to the Daily Mail, Johnstone was already pushing to be Jordan Pickford’s England study before Henderson’s withdrawal and if he wants to firmly remain within the England setup, a move to the top flight could be a necessity this summer.
With his contract situation, a move this summer could be in the interest of all parties but Wolves will be in strong competition with the likes of Manchester United and West Ham, so they may have to move quickly with an attractive offer.
If they can get the deal over the line, they will have a reliable goalkeeper they can count on after Nuno’s departure and the change at the club surrounding it.