Former England shot-stopper Paul Robinson has said Championship outfit West Bromwich Albion should generate at least £30m from the sales of Matheus Pereira and Sam Johnstone if they were to cash in on both this summer, in an interview with Football Insider.
Johnstone, 28, will travel back to West Brom as a European Championships finalist with England and was highly impressive in between the sticks for the Baggies last season, generating interest from a range of top-flight sides in the last couple of months.
Manchester United, West Ham and Arsenal are all said to be keeping an eye on the England keeper, with the Gunners viewing Johnstone as a potentially cheaper signing than Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale.
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Although the West Brom keeper is higher up in the pecking order for Gareth Southgate, he only has one year left on his contract at The Hawthorns and is unlikely to sign a contract whilst the Baggies are in the Championship.
The club are in a slightly better situation with Matheus Pereira, whose contract doesn’t expire until 2024.
24-year-old Pereira recorded 11 goals and six assists in 33 Premier League appearances and is also subject of interest from the English top flight and RB Leipzig – but with his long-term deal in the West Midlands – they could hold out for a higher offer.
Pundit and ex-England stopper Paul Robinson has a specific price tag in mind for the two and speaking to the Football Insider, he said: “You’d like to think he [Ismael] would be given the money to reinvest.
“I think Ismael was a really shrewd appointment by West Brom. You need a manager who knows the Championship and a Championship squad to get you out of the division.
“Sam Johnstone was always going to be one who was going to leave after having an excellent season last time out. Pereira is the same.
“If they can cash in on two top-quality players and reinvest that into the squad, I’m sure they will.
“West Brom have never gone and spent heavily but if you get decent money for those two players you can invest in players who know the Championship.
“You’d be disappointed if you got less than £30m for the pair of them.”
If Johnstone had longer left on his current deal, the Baggies could easily get £20m or more for him – and should hold out for the same with Matheus Pereira.
However, they cannot afford to lose someone of the goalkeeper’s quality for free next summer and if he’s reluctant to sign a new deal in the next month or so, they need to cash in on him with promotion not guaranteed next season.
Still, it would be disappointing not to receive at least £30m for the talented pair because that’s money they can use to mitigate the effects of their Premier League wage bill and re-invest in the playing squad.
This injected revenue into the squad could also be the difference between promotion and staying in the Championship next year, so they need to negotiate in a sensible way for two players who seem destined for top-flight football.