By Nick Ware

10th Dec, 2021 | 9:10am

Journalist issues West Ham update on West Brom star Sam Johnstone as £10m January deal mooted

West Ham are “keeping close tabs” on West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone ahead of the January transfer window, according to Alex Crook.

The talkSPORT journalist, speaking via the radio station on Wednesday (8 December), has issued an update on the 28-year-old England international after previous summer and spring speculation.

Southampton, though, are fierce rivals in the race for his signature as they target a new shot-stopper following injuries to Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster.

“A new goalkeeper would possibly be near the top of their [Southampton’s] shopping list, and the one who would seem to be readily available is Sam Johnstone at West Brom,” Crook said.

“West Ham also keeping close tabs on Johnstone. Again, like [James] Tarkowski, [he’s] available for a free next summer so West Brom might well have to cash in, again that ball part figure of £10million that Simon [Jordan] mentioned would seem like good business for them.

“I can see why West Ham are looking at a new goalkeeper, [Lukasz] Fabianski isn’t getting any younger, he has made one or two mistakes this season.

“It has been a problem position for them in the past but I think Saints probably know they need a new number one as well, so Sam Johnstone could well be a wanted man.”

On the backburner

At 36, Fabianski’s West Ham career may be winding down, but he’s still David Moyes’ undisputed number one goalkeeper.

Even PSG’s World Cup-winning shot-stopper Alphonse Areola hasn’t been able to displace the Pole from Premier League duty since his summer arrival on loan.

The futures of the duo are under some doubt, therefore, with age and contracts an issue.

That’s why a move for Johnstone at the end of the season makes a lot of sense, especially considering his homegrown status.

However, a new goalkeeper is the last thing the Irons need in January, especially at a price.

Johnstone would cost nothing in seven months time but a £10million fee for the “remarkable” [Chris Lepkowski, 23 November] Championship star would put a big dent in the club’s January budget when their real priorities should be at centre-back and centre-forward.

It might be a deal that the Irons look to revisit in the summer, as long as Southampton do not make their move in January.

In other West Ham news, contact has been made with this 26-goal international star over a January loan switch to the Irons.

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