Arsenal switch focus to England man to help keep Leno on his toes

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Reports claim Arsenal are ready to move for West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone if they cannot agree a deal for Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale.

The Gunners have been linked with Ramsdale for the past few weeks as Mikel Arteta looks for back up for Bernd Leno. The Germany shot-stopper is the north Londoners’ number one but the Spaniard wants to put pressure on him next season. Arsenal had a decent custodian on the bench but opted to sell Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa.

And they have yet to replace the Argentine, with Brighton’s Mat Ryan making three appearances on loan in 2020-2021. With that in mind, the Blades ace is on the radar but problems could exit over his price tag.

The Bramall Lane outfit do not have to sell the 23-year-old and hope he might stay to aid their promotion push. But, if he were to leave, then a fee of £25m has been mooted for his signature.

Ramsdale still has three years left on his Sheffield deal and so his present club hold all the aces. That has caused Emirates bosses to think again and they may now look to the West Midlands for an alternative.

Like Ramsdale, Johnstone suffered relegation with the Baggies last season as Sam Allardyce could not work his magic. He made 37 top-flight appearances and was under constant pressure in a side fighting for survival.

That ultimately ended in failure, with Albion finishing in 19th spot in the standings. They will look to offload some players before the start of next season and that might prompt Arsenal to swoop, according to The Daily Star.

Johnstone a cheaper option for Arteta

The 28-year-old is more experienced than the man who is with him in England’s Euro 2020 squad. He has racked up 283 appearances in all competitions in a career that began at Manchester United.

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He did not play for the Red Devils and featured for clubs such as Scunthorpe, Walsall, Yeovil, Doncaster and Preston North End. The Preston-born star spent two seasons on loan with Aston Villa before joining West Brom in the summer of 2018.

He has enjoyed just one campaign in the Premier League and is now back in the Championship. But a move to Arsenal would end that, although it is open to debate as to how much action he would see behind Leno.

Paul Pogba; Aaron Ramsdale Man Utd v Sheff Utd TEAMtalk

It is said that the Black Country outfit are willing to entertain bids in the region of £20m. And that is appealing to the capital club as they look to cut their cloth accordingly.

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