By Noel Whelan

24th Jul, 2021 | 12:00pm

Pundit predicts 'deal to be done' after source update on West Ham bid for Johnstone

Noel Whelan has insisted “there is a deal to be done” after West Ham stepped up their pursuit of West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Irons would have to up their initial offer for the 28-year-old.

As revealed by Football Insider on Thursday (July 22nd), West Ham have offered up to £11million for Johnstone.

It has been suggested West Brom want £20million for the England international but this site has been told by an industry source that the Irons are confident a deal can be done for less.

West Ham have made Johnstone their number one goalkeeping target.

David Moyes’ men have also held talks to sign Alphonse Areola on a loan-to-buy deal from PSG.

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Whelan suggested a new bid with the inclusion of add-ons could see a deal done for the West Brom star.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “He’s been in that England setup and he’s in that setup for a reason. It’s not just about ability.

“It’s about character, personality, professionalism. If you do bring in a player at 28, let’s not forget that these goalkeepers can play until they’re 36, 38.

“They’re not the same as an outfield player. They get better when they get to around the 30-year mark.

“Not only is he bringing experience and quality, but he’s also a talker and a leader. I’m sure he’s got more England gatherings in his future as well.

“There’s a deal to be done. I’m sure £11million’s going to fall too short for what was West Brom are wanting.

If they can meet somewhere in the middle of that, I’m sure there’s always a deal to be struck. Maybe some add-ons through the season and England international appearances.”

In other news, West Ham source has dropped huge Declan Rice update as “mega” offer incoming.