West Ham are the new favourites to sign West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone after overtaking Tottenham in the race, a report claims.
The stopper has made himself one of England’s brightest since leaving Manchester United, but previously struggled to truly make his mark. Indeed, the Baggies had just faced relegation to the Championship when he joined. After starring in every league game in his first season, though, West Brom failed with a promotion bid.
Despite that, Johnstone performed admirably again last term, starring once more with 46 outings. As such, he and West Brom got their just desserts with a move back to the top flight.
As a result, he has been able to prove himself on the biggest stage, proving a standout figure in his club’s otherwise dismal season.
Interest in Johnstone’s services has now increased, with Tottenham showing interest. Spurs first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris remains stoic for now, but at 34 his time there is limited.
In fact, David Moyes’ club are that confident that they are preparing a bid for his signature.
The report points out that Johnstone is ‘almost certain’ to leave the Hawthorns after his standout season.
And the Hammers could well do with a big goalkeeper signing, with their two stoppers coming to a crossroads over their futures.
Lukasz Fabianksi, 36, signed a contract extension in March but that deal runs out at the end of next season.
Darren Randolph’s deal expires in 2023, but he is 34 and so a fresh, younger face would help in the long-term.
Moyes has Lingard transfer doubts
The future of Jesse Lingard will prove another key priority for West Ham this summer.
The 28-year-old midfielder has thoroughly enjoyed his loan spell from Manchester United and scooped the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for April.
Debate has subsequently ensued as to whether the Hammers can finance a permanent deal, given that Lingard’s chances of game time back at Old Trafford look slim.
However, Moyes has doubts over whether a transfer can happen.