Reports by the Daily Star have claimed that David Moyes offers West Ham a huge advantage in their race with Manchester United to sign Sam Johnstone.
It is believed that the West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper’s time working under Moyes at Old Trafford saw the pair establish a strong relationship, which could now see the Hammers emerge as favourites for his signature in the summer.
West Ham are keen to refresh their options in goal, as Lukasz Fabianski and Darren Randolph will be 36 and 34 respectively when the next season rolls around, but face competition from Manchester United.
The Red Devils view the West Brom shot-stopper as the ideal replacement for David de Gea, yet would intend to list him as the back-up to Dean Henderson were he to return to the club.
Moyes, however, would be able to offer Johnstone the promise of regular football, which could be key to West Ham sealing a deal, with West Brom likely to listen to offers as low as £18m for the England international.
Fabianski has registered three more shut-outs than his potential replacement in the Premier League this season, while featuring on one fewer occasion after sitting out fixtures due to thigh and elbow injuries (WHUFC.com).
Johnstone has been one of the stars of West Brom’s ill-fated return to the Premier League and deservedly earned his maiden England call-up in March, having been praised by the likes of Glenn Hoddle for turning in ‘outstanding’ performances in the top-flight (Standard).
It is natural, then, for him to be linked with goalkeeper-hungry clubs with the Baggies seemingly set to be relegated back to the Championship, which West Ham are given the ages of their current first and second choice options.
Launching a move to sign Johnstone may, therefore, be a wise and necessary way for Moyes to go in the off-season, landing someone too good to simply sit on Manchester United’s bench and deal a blow to his former side who clearly regret letting the shot-stopper leave.