Major development hands West Ham, Southampton boost in bid to land England man

Sam Johnstone England

Premier League sides West Ham and Southampton are preparing to battle it out for an England shot-stopper, according to reports.

David Moyes is searching for a new goalkeeper to become Lukasz Fabianski’s long-term replacement. The Pole has been exceptional during the last year or so as West Ham have become genuine top four contenders. However, he is now 36 years old and is in the twilight years of his career.

Frenchman Alphonse Areola joined the club on loan from Paris Saint-Germain earlier this year. He was expected to rival Fabianski for a starting spot but is yet to appear in the Premier League.

Southampton, meanwhile, can currently rely on Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster in goal. McCarthy has kept five clean sheets in 11 league outings so far this campaign. Forster tends to operate as his backup and has mainly played in the Carabao Cup.

It seems Ralph Hasenhuttl wants to improve his team by signing a new, top-quality keeper. That’s where West Brom’s Sam Johnstone comes in.

The England international is on both West Ham and Southampton’s wish lists. The Daily Mail now provide a promising update on the potential for a transfer in 2022.

They write that West Brom are ‘resigned’ to losing Johnstone once his contract expires in June. Negotiations over a new deal began earlier this year but were soon halted by the player.

Southampton need to target a winger

The Saints should look to invest in a winger in January.

It seems the 28-year-old has set his sights on a Premier League switch. West Ham and the Saints are keeping tabs on his situation and are ready to snap him up on a free.

It would be a shrewd piece of business for either top-flight club as Johnstone has previously been valued at over £10million.

The shot-stopper came through Man Utd’s academy before being loaned out several times in a bid to gain experience. He then decided to leave permanently in July 2018 to become West Brom’s number one.

He has made 147 appearances for the Baggies to date, keeping 37 clean sheets.

Moyes showing Manchester United how it’s done, as West Ham top four chances soar

West Ham intend to keep Rice

Meanwhile, West Ham are determined to keep hold of star player Declan Rice.

The Englishman is attracting interest from ‘Big Six’ clubs such as Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea. But West Ham will not sell, even for £100m, as per The Sun.

They want to build David Moyes’ side around the central midfielder. He will be integral if they are to qualify for the Champions League for the next couple of seasons.

West Ham are also buoyed by the impending takeover from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky. His added funds should help them to sign even more top players, thus helping to keep Rice around.

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