By Adefunmiloye Alani

20th Nov, 2021 | 6:10am

Luke Hatfield: Premier League clubs to test West Brom resolve for Sam Johnstone in January

West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has been linked with several Premier League clubs all season, and Luke Hatfield expects a January exit.

The Express and Star journalist has told Give Me Sport that Premier League clubs would be keen on paying little for the England international in the winter transfer window, as opposed to battling plenty of suitors for his free signature in the summer.

Johnstone, 28, is not likely to put pen to paper on an extension soon, but it remains to be seen whether the Baggies will cash in on him mid-way through a promotion-chasing campaign.

Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: “It wouldn’t surprise me to see a club in January go and maybe submit an offer and be willing to pay a little bit now as opposed to getting him for free in the summer but be battling with numerous other sides to get a deal done.

“It’d be a good little bit of business for a Premier League club.”

Possibly?

The Three Lions man surely wants to be playing Premier League football again to retain his berth in Gareth Southgate’s side ahead of next year’s World Cup, and he could be open to leaving The Hawthorns in January if he is offered that chance.

He is not guaranteed a starting berth at any of the clubs not fighting relegation right now, though, and leaving Valerien Ismael’s XI for a place on the bench in the top-flight is the last thing he wants to do anytime soon for the sake of his international career.

West Brom are far from being regarded as automatic promotion candidates right now with both Bournemouth and Fulham leaving them further behind in the table every matchday, and they will need to be on top of their game to win the play-offs.

Johnstone and the club have some tough decisions to make in January, and the Baggies have to seal promotion at the end of the campaign not to lose both ways if they end up deciding against selling him in the winter.

In other West Brom news, Euro giants want to sign Baggies player, club reps were recently at WBA training ground.

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