Aston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton has been tipped as potential replacement for Sam Johnstone at West Brom in the summer by The Athletic.
Albion are staring relegation in the face and it is understood Johnstone, 28, wants to stay in the Premier League and that the Black Country club are unlikely to stand in his way if a top-flight club comes calling.
Johnstone’s contract expires next year and The Athletic reports that the former Villa loanee could be valued between £7.5million and £10million in the summer transfer window.
While the Baggies do have three decent goalkeepers on their books away from Johnstone in experienced David Button and promising duo Alex Palmer and Josh Griffiths, they could opt for a “short-term solution” in Villa number two Heaton.
The three-times England international, 34, will be out of contract and available on a free transfer in the summer.
Solid SJ replacement
Heaton is arguably one of the best number two goalkeepers in the Premier League.
He’s not played for the Aston Villa first-team this season due to injury and the fact that Emiliano Martinez has been in superb form as the Birmingham club’s number one.
However, Heaton is someone who boasts three caps for England, 116 Premier League appearances and 185 Championship appearances.
He’s won promotion previously at Burnley and was also named in the 2015/16 PFA Team of the Year in the Championship.
Heaton’s £42,000-a-week [Spotrac] contract expires in the summer so West Brom could see him as a no-brainer to replace Johnstone.
Do Albion need to fork out big sums of money on a new shot-stopper to replace Johnstone? We don’t think they do, especially as other areas of the squad are in such desperate need of some TLC.
In other West Brom news, this 45-year-old is favourite to be the next Baggies manager.