West Ham face difficult decision after cheeky keeper bid is knocked back


West Ham have had a bid for West Brom’s Sam Johnstone knocked back, which might prompt them to turn to an alternative option, a report has claimed.

The Hammers are in the market for a new shot stopper this summer. First choice Lukasz Fabianski has filled the role well since joining from Swansea in 2018. In his 101 appearances he has kept 25 clean sheets. However, at 36-years-old and with one year left on his contract, he is unlikely to maintain his position for much longer.

One player that was identified as a potential successor is Johnstone. The England international had an impressive 2020/21 season in the Premier League despite his side’s relegation.

Like Fabianski, Johnstone has only 12 months left on his contract. As such, a number of top-flight sides have taken a keen interest.

The 28-year-old has had some big name admirers in Tottenham and Manchester United. However, it was David Moyes’ men who appeared to be in pole position.

And it is they who have struck first. According to The Athletic, the Baggies have rejected a bid which fell way below their estimation.

Albion’s new boss Valerian Ismael is resigned to losing Johnstone and one other player this summer. But the club are said to be holding out for a fee well in excess of £10m.

The report suggests West Ham are unlikely to want to go much higher than their opening offer, and instead could push on with a deal for Alphonse Areola.

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Last week it was reported that Areola is a ‘keeper the East London club are very interested in.

A loan deal with an option to buy from Paris Saint-Germain seems to be a possibility. Those in charge at the London Stadium now face a tricky decision.

Although not wanting to spend too much on a player who is out of contract next summer, they may have no choice if they want to secure a guaranteed long-term replacement in Johnstone.

Johnstone a man in demand

At this stage it looks unlikely he will still be available when his deal at the Hawthornes expires, so it could be now or never.

Not only are Spurs and United contenders, but Arsenal are also looking at the Preston-born man.

Reports claim the Gunners are ready to move if they cannot agree a deal for Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale.

Mikel Arteta is looking 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.

With that in mind, Ramsdale is on the radar, but problems could exist over his price tag. In Johnstone, they have a cheaper alternative.

And according to The Daily Star, this might prompt them to swoop.

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