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West Ham want Sam Johnstone transfer as competition for Lukasz Fabianski

According to talkSPORT, West Ham United are keen to sign West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone in the summer transfer window as competition for Lukasz Fabianski.

The Hammers have emerged as frontrunners in the race to sign Johnstone, as David Moyes is eager to bring in a superior back-up for undisputed first-choice Fabianski than Darren Randolph.

Johnstone is expected to leave West Brom at the end of the season following the Baggies’ relegation from the Premier League, having enjoyed excellent success as a top-flight shot-stopper despite his side’s misfortunes.

(Photo by Adam Fradgley – AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images)

Moyes does not intend to name Johnstone as his new number one if a deal is secured and may have to wait until after Euro 2020, with the 28-year-old a potential selection for Gareth Southgate after earning his first England call-up in March.

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Previous reports by ESPN touting West Ham as favourites due to Johnstone’s relationship with Moyes have also cited Manchester United as a potential destination for the £18million valued ‘keeper, although the Red Devils may no longer be a rival suitor.

TalkSPORT add that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are set to sign Aston Villa’s Tom Heaton on a free transfer to replace Lee Grant and Sergio Romero in the back-up role, potentially leaving West Ham clear to raid the Hawthorns.

TBR’s view:

There can be no doubting Johnstone’s ability as a Premier League goalkeeper have shone in a poor West Brom side, but some doubt may continue over West Ham signing the Preston-born shot-stoper given Moyes’ intentions for him to serve as Fabianski’s number two.

Johnstone may prefer to ignore being reunited with Moyes if it means he has to settle for a seat on the bench more often than on the pitch, given he has shown himself to be capable of producing stand-out performances that led to a maiden England call-up.

Sam Allardyce described Johnstone as ‘one of the best’ in his position after a heroic display to hold Liverpool to a draw, as well, making a stunning late save to deny the Reds a winner.

Johnstone has also made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League (160) entering the final weekend of the season, saved more shots struck inside the box (99), the fourth-most successful runs out (13) and punches (22), per SofaScore.

Fabianski ranks 20th for successful runs out (4), 14th for punches (9), ninth for total saves (98) and 16th for saves from shots taken inside the area (51), and at 36 and on a one-year contract extension, the Irons’ £7m (BBC) signing from 2018 may not be first-choice for much longer.

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