By Adefunmiloye Alani

13th Sep, 2021 | 9:10pm

Valerien Ismael: West Brom and Sam Johnstone remain in talks over new deal

Valerien Ismael has provided an update on the contract situation of West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, insisting talks remain ongoing over it.

The England international, 28, is in the final 12 months of his current deal at The Hawthorns, and the club wants to protect one of their most valuable assets by handing him a new deal.

Both parties have not been able to reach an agreement so far, but the Frenchman appears to be calm about the situation.

Ismael said (via Express and Star) when asked about an update on Johnstone’s future: “It’s the same position. I understand you will ask all the time. But I think that it will take time.

“I understand Sam’s side, I understand the club’s side as well. We want, for sure, to have clarity. But at the minute everything is fine.

“We are happy with his performances, he is happy.

“And we need to do our job first on the pitch to get results and then we will work really hard behind the scenes to make sure we can get the great result we want.”

Tricky

West Brom cannot afford to lose the goalie for nothing at the end of the season, and an instant promotion all but guarantees his stay at the club.

However, failure to seal a return to the Premier League next summer would make things tricky if a new deal has not been agreed by then.

Ideally, the Baggies would want talks over a new deal sorted out before January in order to have their minds at rest.

Johnstone can enter into talks with foreign suitors in the New Year and even agree a pre-contract by then ahead of moving as a free agent at the end of the season.

While a release clause would be included in any contract, the goalie would be wary of getting stuck at the club if suitors refuse to meet the new asking price.

Only West Ham were said to have tabled a bid in the summer, but West Brom quickly rejected their offer.

Both club and player are clearly worried about the future, and while the latter wants to concentrate on the task at hand, an agreement over a new deal has to be reached as quickly as possible as it would put the club’s mind to rest.

In other West Brom news, pundit is certain the Baggies star will be handed new deal with clause inserted.

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