West Bromwich Albion have a dilemma regarding Sam Johnstone. The 28-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has no intention of staying at the Hawthorns beyond the summer, so the Baggies have a decision to make whether to cash in before the January transfer window shuts.

Johnstone hasn’t been in the best form of late and Valerien Ismael does have David Button and Alex Palmer who could deputise in his place, but it would be a big call to sell a first-choice shot-stopper midway through season. Such a move could have an adverse effect on West Brom’s promotion pursuit, so it’s not an easy decision to make.

Kevin Phillips believes it’s ‘a possibility’ that Johnstone leaves in the coming weeks as ‘money talks’ in this industry. If a Premier League club make an offer West Brom can’t refuse, Johnstone may jump at the chance to return to the top-flight.

He told West Brom News: “There is always a possibility. Money talks, and with the situation the way it is, if a big-money offer came, from a business point of view, sometimes it’s hard to turn to down.” Johnstone has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and West Ham United of late.

Phillips added: “I hope he doesn’t leave, I hope he stays and tries to see the job through and help them get promoted. It’s so hard to predict. If a big club came in, I’m pretty sure he’d want something to happen. Until that window closes, anything could happen. Gut feeling, I don’t think he’ll leave.”

Johnstone has made 24 Championship appearances this season, conceding 17 goals with 11 clean sheets. He’ll be suspended for three matches after being sent off in West Brom’s 1-1 draw with Cardiff City, however, so Ismael will have to cope without him.

In other news, fans react on social media as West Brom lose ‘highly-rated’ Lino Sousa to Arsenal