West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone could be on his way out of The Hawthorns next summer.
That’s according to a report by The Athletic, who claim that Southampton’s priority at the end of the current season will be the signing of a new goalkeeper, with the Premier League side believed to have identified the West Brom shot-stopper as one of their top targets.
The report goes on to state that, despite reports suggesting Albion are planning to offer the 28-year-old a new contract – something which Valerien Ismael has confirmed the club are in talks with the ‘keeper about – as the England international’s current deal at the Championship side is due to expire next summer, there has been no agreement reached at present.
While the possibility of Johnstone going on to put pen to paper on a new deal with West Brom remains a very real one, it is undeniable that the interest of a Premier League side could well influence the goalkeeper’s decision regarding his future at The Hawthorns, with his potential departure, particularly on a free transfer, sure to leave Ismael gutted.
Indeed, Johnstone was one of the club’s standout performers over his 37 Premier League appearances for Albion last season, with the £7.2m-rated man keeping six clean sheets, as well as making a highly impressive average of 4.5 saves per game.
As such, it is not a difficult argument to make that losing the services of the 28-year-old for nothing next summer would be something of a disaster for Ismael, as, should Albion go on to secure promotion to the Premier League come next May, losing Johnstone would undoubtedly be a huge blow to the chances of the club remaining a top-flight side upon their return to the top table.