West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone will leave the club at the end of the current season, according to reliable journalist Steve Madeley.
The Lowdown: Johnstone continues to shine
The 28-year-old ended up staying put at the Hawthorns last summer, despite constant reports linking him with a move elsewhere, having been hailed as ‘wonderful’ by BBC pundit Micah Richards, who played alongside him at Aston Villa.
Johnstone has continued to impress for West Brom this season, making 22 Championship appearances and helping his team to sit fourth in the table currently.
It still looks likely that the England international won’t be around forever, though, with a fresh update suggesting as much.
Should West Brom sign another striker in January?
Yes, need more options
No, we have enough
The Latest: Journalist makes key claim
When asked if the club’s priority next month would be to cash in on the goalkeeper, he outlined:
“I really don’t think that’s the case. Which is not to say they wouldn’t sell if the right offer came in but I don’t think they have any wish to lose him, nor do I think they’re likely to receive the kind of offer that would tempt them to sell.
“After all, as it stands, Johnstone will be free to leave for no fee in May, so it’s hard to see any Premier League club paying big money for him now unless they really need a No 1 immediately and I can’t see a club that does.”
The Verdict: Inevitable exit?
It is encouraging to hear that Johnstone won’t be leaving in January – his exit then would be a damaging blow to West Brom’s promotion hopes – but sadly a summer move now feels inevitable.
His contract expires at the end of the season, meaning he will be available on a free transfer, at which point a Premier League club could snap him up readily, rather than Albion at least fetching a fee for him if he were to be sold next month.
The only hope is that Valerien Ismael’s side return to the top flight as well, at which point Johnstone may decide to sign a new deal and look to build upon his 41 clean sheets in 153 appearances for the Baggies.
In other news, Luke Hatfield has made a transfer claim regarding one rumoured target. Find out who it is here.
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