By Noel Whelan

20th Jul, 2021 | 4:00pm

West Ham still working 'behind closed doors' on Johnstone deal after update - pundit

Noel Whelan has insisted West Ham have the money to complete a permanent deal for Sam Johnstone.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Premier League striker claimed a deal could be done as negotiations continue “behind closed doors”.

A West Ham source has told Football Insider that Johnstone is “very keen” to join the club.

However, the Athletic reported on 16 July West Ham have had a bid rejected for the stopper, who West Brom value well in excess of £10million.

He has just 12 months left on his Albion contract.

“What you do is test the water,” Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“A player is only valued at what the club that owns them wants. If you’re not willing to pay that right now then there’s no deal to be done.

“They rate the player at a certain price, West Brom rate him at a different one. It’s a difficult one, it really is.

“You’ve got to respect West Brom who want to get in as much money as possible. They went down last season but they’re not going to be priced out because of that. They know they’ve got an England goalkeeper there.

“£10million is not a lot of money, let’s be honest. I’m sure West Ham have got a lot of money there. I’m sure they’ve got a lot of money from getting into Europe. They’ve got the money from Haller that hasn’t been spent.

“But deals sometimes take time. I think maybe there’s a bit of haggling and negotiating going on behind closed doors.”

In other news, a Rangers star is “flattered” after West Ham submit a six-figure bid.