West Ham have made Sam Johnstone their number one target in this transfer window, according to reports…
Football Insider claim that the West Brom shot-stopper is now David Moyes’ first-choice to bring to the London Stadium before next month’s deadline.
It’s believed that the Irons have submitted an £11m bid for the England international but have also held talks with Paris Saint-Germain over a potential deal for Alphonse Areola, who impressed on loan at relegated Fulham last term.
The Baggies are looking for £20m for Johnstone, although the report claims he could be available for considerably less, with Moyes in the market for a proven Premier League option.
With current number one Lukasz Fabianski, now 36, entering the twilight years of his career, it would certainly make sense for the Scotsman to desire a long-term successor.
Despite suffering relegation at The Hawthorns, the 28-year-old was a standout player, which culminated in him taking a place in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad, along with Declan Rice.
As per FBRef, no goalkeeper made more saves (161) than Johnstone las term, having faced an average of 6.16 attempts on target per 90 minutes. By comparison, the Polish veteran made just 96 saves and had a lower success rate, too.
“He’s one of the best,” claimed former Irons boss Sam Allardyce to talkSPORT. “He’s right up there at the right level and he’d already saved more shots than anybody before yesterday.”
Similarly, current Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce waxed lyrical about his attitude off the pitch, dubbing him a “diamond” to work with.
The Hammers have a very strong chance of sealing Johnstone thanks to his agent Will Salthouse, who Football Insider have previously suggested is a preferred agent for David Sullivan and David Gold.
Indeed, several of his other clients are currently under contract at the London Stadium, including Said Benrahma, Michail Antonio, Aaron Cresswell, Ryan Fredericks and Darren Randolph.
You can argue that the majority of these names have been a success, so the Baggies star could be the next Salthouse bargain to come to East London.
Especially considering reports linking Premier League rivals Arsenal with a £32m move for Aaron Ramsdale. Johnstone would make that fee a mockery.