Southampton have West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone high on their transfer shortlist, The Athletic reports.
Alex McCarthy has reportedly signed a new three-year deal, but the Saints are eyeing reinforcements with back-up goalkeeper James Forster set to leave for free next summer.
Forster is currently the second-highest earner at £70,000-per-week, and it appears that the club are keen to get him off their wage bill when his contract expires in June 2022.
A new shot-stopper will be a priority for them. Johnstone, who has 10 months left on his Baggies contract, has been identified to provide competition to McCarthy.
However, the Saints are also looking at alternatives as Johnstone may have other offers next summer while he could extend his Baggies stay if they return to the top-flight.
Johnstone had a solid Premier League debut season with the Baggies with 70.6 percent saves from 228 shots.
It appeared that he could return to the top-flight after the club’s relegation, but there were no suitable offers.
The Baggies initially set a £20 million price tag for his services but later lowered the valuation to £12m.
West Ham United were heavily linked with him, but their low-ball offer of £6m was rejected by the Midlands outfit.
The Hammers have since signed Alphonse Areola on loan from Paris Saint-Germain with an option to buy.
Johnstone has yet to commit to a new Baggies contract, and he can control his own destiny next summer.
There will be plenty of offers for him on a free transfer, and the Saints can’t expect a straightforward deal.
The England international has returned in goal for the Baggies this term after initially being frozen out.
The 28-year-old could yet commit to a new long-term deal if the club secure promotion at the first time of asking.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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