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Report: Spurs in “pole position” for free agent signing of Sam Johnstone

This will probably happen pretty soon.

West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

We’ve been talking about this one for a while now, but let’s give ourselves an Optimism Sandwich as we sit at our desks and pretend that we’re not angsting over the North London Derby: it looks pretty likely that Tottenham Hotspur will be signing West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone this summer.

According to the Evening Standard, Spurs are still in “pole position” for Johnstone, who would come in to replace on-loan Pierluigi Gollini and serve as Hugo Lloris’ primary backup as Tottenham goalkeeper. Johnstone is not only a better keeper than Gollini, he’s seen as someone who could actually push Hugo for starts in the league and a safe pair of hands should anything happen to Lloris next season.

There’s been some question as to why we haven’t had this wrapped up already, but there’s a chance that Johnstone’s contract doesn’t actually expire until the end of July, meaning Spurs couldn’t sign him to a pre-contract until June 1. (Had it expired at the end of June, Spurs could do so this month.) The Standard notes that Manchester City is also lurking around Johnstone, but Spurs would likely provide more opportunities to play.

It’s a good plan. Johnstone is not only a solid keeper, he’s also English and homegrown, which will help alleviate any potential issues with the quota heading into next season. That’s not really an issue right now, but if there’s a bunch of turnover in the squad this summer, it’s nice to have that safety valve in place.

Not a done deal and so don’t count your chickens before they’re led like a pig in a poke with a wooden nickel. But I expect this gets done.