With his current deal up at the end of this season, Johnstone had been expected to leave the Baggies during the summer after shining in the Premier League last term.
But a derisory offer of £6million from West Ham was the only bid Albion received.
Since then Johnstone has opened talks with the Baggies over a fresh deal at The Hawthorns.
And Ismael said those talks remain ongoing.
“It’s the same position,” the boss said when asked if there was an update with Johnstone’s contract.
“I understand you will ask all the time.
“But I think that it will take time.
“I understand Sam’s side, I understand the club’s side as well.
“We want, for sure, to have clarity. But at the minute everything is fine.
“We are happy with his performances, he is happy.
“And we need to do our job first on the pitch to get results and then we will work really hard behind the scenes to make sure we can get the great result we want.”
Meanwhile, it has emerged Albion were offered the chance to sign Ross Barkley on loan in the days leading up to the closure of the transfer window.
The Express & Star understands Chelsea contacted the Baggies to see if they would be interested in the 27-year-old.
With Barkley earning in the region of £110,000 a week, though, a move to The Hawthorns was never really on the cards.
Barkley, who has 33 England caps, endured a frustrating loan with Villa last season.