Sam Johnstone is reportedly set to leave Manchester United with several Premier League clubs lining up to secure his services in the summer
According to a report in The Sun, Sam Johnstone is set to leave Manchester United in the summer transfer window. Premier League clubs and the recently relegated Middlesbrough are circling around the 24-year-old goalkeeper to secure his services.
Johnstone joined the Manchester United academy in 2009 and made rapid strides in the club’s youth setup to make the grade in the first-team squad by 2011. However, he is yet to make a single appearance with the senior side, with David De Gea firmly established as the first-choice goalkeeper at Old Trafford.
Beyond the Spanish goalkeeper, Anders Lindegaard and then Sergio Romero have been reliable backup options for the Red Devils, meaning he has had to suffice playing for the club’s youth and reserve sides.
A representative of James Grants Sports, agent of Sam Johnstone says the goalkeeper ‘has a number of options and is considering them all’ pic.twitter.com/8yThkf8you
— RedReveal (@RedReveal) June 30, 2017
Other than those outings, Johnstone has been a journeyman of sorts, having embarked on nine different loan spells with seven different clubs in the last six seasons. But, the Englishman is unlikely to become a regular for Manchester United’s senior side, especially with the rise of Joel Pereira, who has gone above him in the pecking order.
Johnstone has gained a lot of first-team opportunities in the lower leagues over the years, though, and as he looks set to leave Manchester United this summer, he is attracting interest from a lot of clubs. Chief among these are Middlesbrough, who have already initiated talks with the Red Devils over a possible move.
Garry Monk is set to galvanize his squad in the summer with a goalkeeper, in particular, being his top priority following the departures of Brad Guzan and Victor Valdes. Hence, Johnstone has emerged as a viable target after impressing on loan at Aston Villa in the recently concluded season.
Middlesbrough, though, face stiff competition in the form of Premier League clubs Leicester, West Brom and Huddersfield. Leicester are in a precarious situation currently with first-choice goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel being heavily linked with a summer exit.
The Dane’s possible departure would leave Craig Shakespeare with Ron Robert Zeiler as his only recognised option in goal. Johnstone has, thus, been identified as a top target by the Leicester boss for a move in the summer transfer window.
Meanwhile at West Brom, Ben Foster is firmly established as the first-choice and opportunities could come few and far between for Johnstone with the former Manchester United goalkeeper being one of the best shot stoppers in the Premier League.
At Huddersfield, David Wagner is eyeing Johnstone as a possible reinforcement between the sticks whose experience of playing first-team football at different levels of English football could come in handy in their Premier League bow next season.
Johnstone and his representatives have made it clear that the player is now ready to become a regular first-team player at this stage of his career. Keeping that in mind, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield are likely to be the most appealing destinations for the 24-year-old. It now remains to be seen where he heads off to in the summer.