Arsenal are ready to switch their focus on signing West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone as an alternative to Aaron Ramsdale, who is deemed expensive.
According to the Daily Star, Arsenal are ready to turn their attention to Sam Johnstone of West Brom. The interest stems as the Gunners eye an alternative to primary target Aaron Ramsdale on who Sheffield United have a placed a high asking price, which the club deem expensive.
Arsenal’s already busy summer gets a lot more complicated with their goalkeeper search. The Gunners remain in the market for a quality shot-stopper but are yet to make any significant progress. The situation at the Emirates is strange given they do not have a decent backup to first-choice Bernd Leno, who himself faces an uncertain future.
Andre Onana was pencilled in for a move from Ajax despite his controversial doping ban, but Arsenal have somewhat cooled their interest in the Cameroonian since. They have been on Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale trails for some weeks and remain hopeful of completing a transfer.
However, Sheffield demands a high asking price for Ramsdale, who they secured from Bournemouth for upwards of £18 million last summer. Sheffield is not interested in a sale, and Ramsdale is content with playing in the Championship next season.
However, since being called up to England’s Euro squad, Ramsdale might change his stance and grab the chance on moving to a big club. That has also been a factor in Sheffield’s demand for a high price; something Arsenal deem excessive for the keeper. The Gunners were expected to make a big offer, but that may not be close to what the Blades want.
Such a situation has forced Arsenal to turn their attention to alternate targets, such as Sam Johnstone from West Brom. The Baggies got relegated like Sheffield, but Johnstone was one of their standout performers, making him a target of multiple Premier League sides.
Manchester United were also interested in their former player until they sighed Tom Heaton from Aston Villa a few days ago. While other clubs might still be interested, Johnstone could be tempted by Arsenal if Mikel Arteta’s side makes a quick offer.
West Brom reportedly values Johnstone at around £20 million, something Arsenal were willing to pay for Ramsdale. Arsenal want a keeper experienced in the Premier League, who they might bump up to the No.1 spot in a season or so, depending on Leno’s situation.
Johnstone is an experienced customer, having played over 350 games, with the majority coming in the Championship. However, with only a year left on his current deal, Arsenal could prise the 28-year-old for less than his asking price while negotiating with the Baggies. He would also be a good addition, given his homegrown status.
Unlike Ramsdale, Arsenal might only be considering Johnstone for their no.2 spot and might look at a more viable option to fill Leno’s shoes. However, as things stand, the German looks set to stay around for another year at least, giving the Gunners more time to sort out their no.1 keeper for the future.