Report: Sam Johnstone set to snub Manchester United in favour of West Ham move
West Ham are favourites to sign West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone ahead of Man United, according to ESPN.
The report claims Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to sign the 28-year-old who began his career at the club, but that the Albion shot-stopper has been offered guaranteed game-time in London.
That makes West Ham the favourites to secure his signature, with David Moyes prepared to offer him regular first-team football at the London Stadium, something Solskjaer wouldn’t be able to do at Old Trafford with 24-year-old Dean Henderson currently thriving.
Lukasz Fabianski is currently firmly installed as the Irons number one goalkeeper but he recently turned 36 and struggled with injuries last season, missing 13 Premier League matches.
Johnstone seems certain to leave West Brom this summer with the Baggies potentially one game away from being relegated to the Championship after just one season back in the top-flight.
Beating off the big boys
It’s not often we overtake Manchester United as frontrunners for a transfer target.
Their billionaire-owned backers and trophy-hunting obsessives are usually at odds with what we can offer but it looks like players are starting to think twice about going for the money and stardom.
Johstone would easily earn more money in Manchester and it would be an emotional move for him given his roots, but he is obviously aware that he could spend next season kicking his heels on the sidelines, regardless of how well he performs in training.
They’re not going to waste the talents of the younger Henderson so he would be primed for the number two position, whereas he has a genuine chance to usurp Fabianski for us.
The Pole has been a reliable performer since signing from Swansea City in 2018 but if there chance is there to bring in a younger, Premier League proven performer, then we should take it.
Johnstone has been brilliant for West Brom this season despite their struggles, leading pundits like Stephen Warnock to call him “phenomenal” [BBC Match of the Day 2, 27/12/21], and he could be a smart pick-up for the Irons as we possibly prepare for a European campaign.
In other West Ham news, Declan Rice gushes over Irons star & issues emotional message to fans after big win v Burnley.