Manchester United academy graduate Sam Johnstone is reportedly a transfer target for EFL Championship side West Bromwich Albion.
Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is a subject of transfer interest for English second division side West Bromwich Albion, as per reports from the Daily Mail.
The Baggies, who were relegated to the Championship after finishing bottom of the pile in the 2017/18 Premier League season, are set to lose out on their first choice stopper and former United goalkeeper Ben Foster. The 35-year old is reportedly a transfer target for Watford FC and the two clubs are in negotiations to get a deal across the line.
And West Brom have identified Johnstone as the ideal man to replace Foster as they look to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking itself. 25-year old Johnstone joined the Manchester United academy back in 2009 and rose rapidly through the youth ranks to break into the first-team setup as early as 2011.
However, despite having featured for the senior side in friendlies, the Englishman is still yet to make a single competitive appearance.
Johnstone so far, has had various loan spells away from Old Trafford, having spent time away at Oldham Athletic, Scunthorpe United, Walsall FC, Yeovil Town, Doncaster Rovers, Preston North End and Aston Villa. The United academy man spent the second half of the 2016/17 campaign and the entirety of the 2017/18 season away on loan with Aston Villa, under former Manchester United manager Steve Bruce.
During his time at the Villa Park, Johnstone impressed with some solid and reliable displays between the sticks, helping the Midlands club to a promotion playoff finish in the Championship. He made 48 appearances in the last season, managing 22 clean sheets in the process.
Villa were understood to be keen on signing the goalkeeper on a permanent deal this summer and Johnstone too was keen on securing a transfer away, but the club find themselves in a financial crisis at the moment, which has put a major dent on their hopes of landing the 25-year old. Surprisingly, Manchester United’s Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur were also credited with an interest in the custodian’s services.
Johnstone’s contract with Manchester United runs out next summer and it is understood that the player is not looking to sign an extension, given that he has David De Gea, Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira ahead of him in the pecking order for a starting berth at Old Trafford. And the club, aware of the player’s stance, are looking to cash in and have demanded a fee of £5 million from the Baggies for the transfer.
Signing him would prove to be a good acquisition for West Brom, given his experience in the second division. Johnstone will get to play regular football and United too will be able to recoup some amount for a player in the last year of his deal. Sounds like a win-win situation for all parties involved.