REPORTS have stated that West Brom and England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is high up on Saints’ shortlist for next summer.

Saints will be on the lookout for a new man in net, although it is expected that the club will announce a new Alex McCarthy contract Fraser Forster will likely go out the door when his deal expires in 2022.

This will leave Ralph Hasenhuttl a man light inbetween the sticks and The Athletic are reporting that Three Lions stopper Johnstone is a key name the club want to bring in, having already drawn up a shortlist.

The 28-year-old’s contract is also due to expire in summer 2022 paving the way for him to move on a free, which would obviously be a deal that would suit Saints’ higher-ups financially.

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The report also details how Preston-born former Manchester United ‘keeper Johnstone has attracted interest from the likes of West Ham, after his club’s Premier League relegation for this season.

West Brom could likely go back up as Championship winners or otherwise, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Johnstone will sign a new deal and stay with the Baggies.

Although he missed their opening day 2-2 draw against Bournemouth, he has played all four league games since, winning each fixture and keeping two clean sheets.

Johnstone could comfortably land the number one shirt at Saints and find his second permanent home after West Brom, following a career that saw a remarkable ten loan spells while on United’s first-team books between 2011-2018.

Daily Echo: Sam Johnstone has made a name for himself at West Brom after loan spells including Aston Villa Sam Johnstone has made a name for himself at West Brom after loan spells including Aston Villa

That being said, Johnstone’s only full season as a number one in the Premier League (20-21) did end in relegation, while the rest of his has been Championship and some League One earlier in his career.

He was awarded West Brom’s Supporter’s Player and Player’s Player of the Year awards for that relegation campaign.

To add, Gareth Southgate rewarded the 6foot 4inch tall stopper with an England debut during a 1-0 win over Romania in June 2021 – his only Three Lions cap.

He was also part of Southgate’s squad that reached the final of the 2020 European Championship at Wembley Stadium.

Supporters will want to see the goalkeeping area of concern addressed after some already unconvincing efforts this season and in past campaigns, and Johnstone would make perfect sense given his potential availability.