Tottenham are showing an interest in West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone – but a report has revealed how their pursuit of him has become more complicated.
Johnstone is enjoying a successful season in goal for West Brom, despite the club being threatened by relegation.
The 27-year-old has been one of the few bright sparks and has been rewarded with a first ever England call-up as a result.
However, that in turn has complicated his future at club level. According to Football Insider, his value will increase if he plays in the international break.
The report mentions Tottenham as one of his main suitors as they look for a successor to Hugo Lloris. The Frenchman could leave at the end of the season.
Lloris is under contract until 2022, and that means he could leave this summer. PSG are one of his potential suitors, as he could reunite with Mauricio Pochettino in the French capital.
That would leave Spurs needing a replacement, and a number of names has been linked. Johnstone is one of the names on the shortlist.
However, Football Insider have now revealed that Tottenham may have to pay a premium price for the West Brom man.
The report claims that, should he play, it will give West Brom a stronger negotiating position, as they will be able to command a higher fee for him. That would even still be the case if they get relegated.
Their imminent return to the Championship still would make it likely that Johnstone will be on his way out, though. Like Lloris, he is out of contract in 2022, putting his club in a delicate position.
If they have to cash in, though, West Brom may now be able to at least get more money for him.
Previous reports have indicated that they may have been looking for around £7m to sell him. Now, that figure is likely to have risen.
Johnstone praised by Southgate
Meanwhile, England manager Gareth Southgate has explained his decision to reward Johnstone with his international call-up.
Johnstone has taken a place alongside Nick Pope and Dean Henderson in the squad, compensating for Jordan Pickford’s absence through injury.
“Sam Johnstone, in a team that has had a difficult season, has kept a very good level of performance,” Southgate said.
“He’s comfortable in possession as well as keeping the ball out of his net.”