Noel Whelan has claimed West Ham could rival Tottenham for the signing of West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone this summer. 

Johnstone, whose current contract with the Baggies runs out at the end of the season, looks to be on the verge of leaving the Championship side (BBC Sport). 

Tottenham are reportedly ‘increasingly confident’ of securing the services of the 29-year-old as an initial backup to No.1 option Hugo Lloris (The Sun). 

Football Insider have also claimed that Johnstone has told close friends he is keen on securing a move to Spurs and would be willing to hold an understudy role to start with. 

But Whelan believes it may not be a plain sailing deal for Spurs to complete as he backs West Ham to also hold an interest in the England international, despite the Hammers’ reported interest in Burnley keeper Nick Pope (The Times).

Whelan told Football Insider: “Pope ticks all the boxes. This is another reason why Burnley need to stay up and a reason Everton need to stay in the Premier League. 

“You’ve got two England goalkeepers there that might need to leave the football club if they go down. Pope’s a fantastic goalkeeper, there’s no doubt about that.

“There’s always been speculation over Pope since he went to the club. Other teams looking at him, there aren’t many goalkeepers around with the quality he possesses.”

He added: “One of the best in the Premier League, a recognised international as well. But again, you’ve got Sam Johnstone as well. It doesn’t look like West Brom are going to be coming up this year.

“There’s another one that West Ham are going to have their eyes on. It’s no surprise to me they’re looking into British players. That’s where they’ve generally looked, West Ham.

“It’s been successful for them up until this point. I think if you go for Sam Johnstone or Nick Pope, you’re onto a winner there.

“Pope will cost money, Sam Johnstone will too wage-wise. Either way, you’re getting an England international. It is one position I do believe West Ham should be strengthening.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

While West Ham evidently want a new goalkeeper, it is hard to see them going for both Pope and Johnstone, unless they plan on overhauling the whole position. 

But the fact that Johnstone reportedly wants to move to Spurs is a good sign for the club and could make their negotiations for him a bit smoother come the summer. 

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