football

Arsenal identify West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone as transfer alternative to Aaron Ramsdale


Aaron Ramsdale and Sam Johnstone are both on Arsenal’s radar (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal are reportedly plotting a move for West Brom star Sam Johnstone in the event that their pursuit of Aaron Ramsdale ends in failure this summer.

Mikel Arteta is intent on bringing in serious competition for Bernd Leno as he looks to add quality to his Arsenal squad following a miserable campaign for the club both domestically and in Europe.

Runar Alex Runarsson has failed to make the grade after coming in to replace Emiliano Martinez – who left to join Aston Villa last September – and the north London outfit have drawn up a shortlist of possible goalkeeping targets.

It’s understood Ramsdale is at the top of Arsenal’s wishlist in this position but Sheffield United have no intention of cashing in on their number one and the Gunners have been forced to scour the transfer market for alternatives.

Arteta is on the hunt for a goalkeeper to provide serious competition for Leno (Picture: Getty)

According to The Daily Star, Baggies shot-stopper Johnstone – who is away on international duty with England team-mate Ramsdale at Euro 2020 – has been identified as a realistic option for Arsenal.

The report claims West Brom would be prepared to sell the 28-year-old for a fee of just £20million ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

Johnstone started his professional career with Manchester United and was sent on ten separate loan spells before completing a permanent £6.5m switch to the Hawthorns in 2018.

West Brom lost their fight for Premier League survival last season but Johnstone was a mainstay between the sticks, starting all but one of the team’s 38 matches in the English top flight.

West Brom value Johnstone at around £20m (Picture: Getty)

Speaking last week, Slavisa Jokanovic stressed that Sheffield United have no intention of parting ways with key players Ramsdale and Serge Berge, who has also been linked with a move away from Bramall Lane.

The newly appointed Blades boss said: ‘I never expect players to leave. I know there is talk about two and they are two of my best players. So of course I don’t want to see them go.

‘I am aware of the situation with one (Berge). I am aware of the possibilities that are out there. But him, the Norwegian guy, I also know the qualities he has got and hot good he can be for us next season.

‘So when I have the chance to meet him, to sit down with him, I will try and make him stay here with us. I will try and make him stay because of his qualities and his ability. which would be very good for us to have going forward.

‘I have one of the best ‘keepers in England. So I want one of the best ones to be here with us. Again, I will have the chance to it down with them and that’s what I will say.

‘They are two of my best players, as I say, and so I always want my best players to be here with me. I haven’t had the chance yet but, when I do, I will sit down with both of them and let them know what my feelings are. I will tell the same as I have just told you.’

Sheffield United have reportedly slapped a £25m price tag on Ramsdale but are under no pressure to cash in on the 23-year-old as they prepare to fend off Arsenal’s advances.


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