Valerien Ismael has dropped an update on the future of Sam Johnstone at West Bromwich Albion.
In recent comments cited by the Express & Star, the Frenchman revealed that progress is being made in talks between the club and the goalkeeper regarding a new contract at The Hawthorns.
The 45-year-old went onto claim that, while he does not expect a resolution quickly, he has a good feeling about the England international remaining an Albion player beyond the end of his current deal – which is set to expire at the end of the season.
Speaking about the contract situation of Johnstone, Ismael said: “Progress is a big word but we keep talking. I don’t think we can get a result quickly, but at least all the parties are talking. We have a good feeling, but we need to be patient on that.”
Considering just how important a part of the West Brom side Johnstone has been in recent seasons, the fact that the goalkeeper appears to be edging closer to putting pen to paper on a new deal with the club is undoubtedly a massive boost for Albion.
Indeed, over his 37 Premier League appearances last term, the £7.2m-rated man kept six clean sheets, made an average of 4.5 saves per game and stopped a total of 166 shots over the course of the season.
And, aside from a disappointing performance against Blackburn Rovers, the £28k-per-week shot-stopper has continued his fine form in the Championship so far this season, earning a 6.9 match rating against Luton Town and a 7.4 match rating against Sheffield United.
As such, should the 28-year-old indeed go on to extend his stay at The Hawthorns, it will not only be a boost to the club’s promotion hopes this season, but also to their chances of potentially remaining in the top flight next term.