Report: Arsenal ready to spend £20m to land 'wonderful professional'
Arsenal have their eye on West Brom and England goalkeeper, Sam Johnstone, according to a report from the Daily Star last night.
The Gunners are looking for a back-up goalkeeper to Bernd Leno and had previously identified Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale as an option.
However, the Daily Star now suggest that Ramsdale’s England teammate Johnstone is also being considered. Crucially, it is suggested the West Brom man will be available for around £20m.
That figure would be less than Arsenal would be paying for Ramsdale. His current club, Sheffield United, are thought to be demanding closer to the £35-40m mark.
Johnstone, 28, excelled for the Baggies last term despite being unable to stop them being relegated. A former Manchester United youngster, he’s enjoyed a stellar career and made over 250 appearances.
Getting someone in to play back-up to Leno will be tough. But if Arsenal can land someone like Johnstone, then it would put real pressure on the German.
Of course, Leno is likely to remain the number one. But Johnstone brings experience and quality to the fold. And at £20m, he is a bit of a bargain.
Micah Richards has previously lauded Johnstone, too. The pair were teammates at Aston Villa, and Richards believes Johnstone deserves his England chances now.
“Sam was a team-mate of mine at Aston Villa and one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet. A wonderful professional who got a proper grounding at Manchester United. If he wins a first cap it would be fully deserved,” Richards has said previously.
With Arsenal ready to spend and get the right players in for Mikel Arteta this summer, it seems Johnstone could be ideal.