By Alex McLeish

1st Oct, 2021 | 7:00pm

Ex-manager backs Tottenham to seal 'great' deal amid mission for West Brom ace Johnstone

Alex McLeish has suggested signing West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone on a free would be “great business” for Tottenham.

The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 28-year-old could take Hugo Lloris’ place in a couple of years.

As revealed by Football Insider (29th September), Tottenham are keeping close tabs on Johnstone ahead of a potential swoop next year.

A senior Spurs scout watched the shot-stopper in action at Preston North End in a 1-1 draw last week.

The Lilywhites consider Johnstone as a possible long-term replacement for Lloris.

Like the Frenchman, the England international is also out of contract next summer, meaning he could be signed on a free.

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McLeish claimed Johnstone, who was the subject of an £11million summer bid from West Ham, would take time to reach Lloris’ standard at Spurs.

However, he admitted the lack of transfer fee makes him an attractive signing nonetheless.

“It’s smart business if they can get him on a free,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“If he’s at a level where it can definitely get higher then it’s great business.

“He’s not going to come and usurp Lloris right away, is he? If he’s one they can work with and they can groom him to be the next Spurs number one, then it’s good business.

“Business is business. Notably, you don’t hear them linked with a £40-50million goalkeeper, do we? That’ll be down to the recruitment team.

“If they’re doing good job, then it has to be done. “

Tottenham signed keeper Pierluigi Gollini from Atalanta during the summer on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy.

They also allowed Joe Hart to join Celtic.

In other news, Dele Alli is slaughtered after behind-the-scenes Tottenham reveal from well-placed Source.