Crystal Palace ‘in talks’ for former West Ham and Spurs £10m transfer target Sam Johnstone

Crystal Palace finalize a deal to make goalkeeper Sam Johnstone their first signing of the summer transfer window.

The 29-year-old is a free agent at the end of June after being placed on West Bromwich Albion’s list of released players, with the Eagles keen to bring the England international to Selhurst Park as a potential long-term successor to Vicente Guaita . According to Athletic, Johnstone is discussing a five-year deal with Palace that would keep him at the club until 2027.

This would be the third permanent club of his career, having started at Manchester United before receiving several loan spells which should give him first-team experience. He eventually signed for West Brom for £6.5million in 2018, made 167 appearances for the Baggies and won the club’s Player of the Year award in 2021.

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Shortly after, he was the subject of an offer from West Ham, who were reportedly willing to spend around £10million to acquire his services. The Baggies rejected the approach despite knowing they risked losing Johnstone for free at the end of the season when his contract expired and Palace now hoped to capitalize on the situation. Johnstone had also been considered by Tottenham but Antonio Conte’s side now appear ready to secure a deal for Southampton keeper Fraser Forster, who is also available on a free transfer.

Johnstone made his debut for England at West Brom, where he kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Romania before being called up in the 26-man squad for EURO 2020. He last played for his country in a World Cup qualifier win over Andorra last October.

The move would cast doubt on Jack Butland’s future in south London as the keeper would effectively be relegated to third choice should Johnstone arrive. Butland, who made 15 appearances for the club last season, is entering his final year at Palace after signing a three-year deal when he arrived from Stoke City in October 2020.

Although Johnstone could be Palace’s first signed deal, there are plenty of other deals that could follow in the near future. The club have been rumored to be looking to bring former academy graduate Aaron Wan-Bissaka back to the club from Manchester United, while there are ongoing talks linking Palace to a move to Malia international Cheick Doucoure from Ligue 1’s Lens bring.

There are also many decisions still to be made about the players who are currently at the club and whose contracts are about to expire. Negotiations are currently underway to keep several members of Patrick Vieira’s squad in SE25 for at least one more season. Of those players, James McArthur and Jordan Ayew have reportedly already signed contract extensions, while fans await updates on the likes of Cheikhou Kouyate and Nathaniel Clyne.

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