Manchester United are reportedly set to battle it out with Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United for West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
According to a report from ESPN, Premier League giants Manchester United are interested in signing former academy star Sam Johnstone in the summer transfer window, but will face competition from rivals Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.
Johnstone, 28, came through the youth ranks at Manchester United but never managed to make a first-team appearance thanks to the presence of David de Gea and Sergio Romero as options ahead of him. Having had ten spells away on loan from Old Trafford with seven different clubs, the goalkeeper joined West Bromwich Albion in the summer of 2018, in a deal worth £6.5 million.
Since joining the Baggies, Johnstone has been an ever-present between the sticks. Till date, the Englishman has made 128 appearances for the club, managing 30 clean sheets in the process. He played a key role in West Brom earning promotion to the top-flight and has been one of their better performers this term, even as they seem set to go back down to the Championship.
Johnstone, having made a solid impression, earned his maiden England call upon during the international break in March. And with the Baggies set for the drop, the 28-year-old could be on his way out in the summer. And, the goalkeeper’s boyhood club, Manchester United, have shown a keen interest in re-signing him.
Manchester United are poised for a revamp in the goalkeeping department next summer as backup goalkeepers Sergio Romero and Lee Grant are both out of contract at the end of the season and will be departing from Old Trafford. With Dean Henderson now becoming the first-choice goalkeeper at the club, De Gea’s future too has become increasingly uncertain, with the Red Devils said to be open to a sale for a fee of around £50 million.
Should that happen, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ought to bring in a new goalkeeper to compete with Henderson, making Johnstone a viable target for the club. However, they are now set to face competition from Tottenham, who are also keen on signing the 28-year-old in the upcoming transfer window.
Tottenham have captain Hugo Lloris as the first-choice shot-stopper. But at 34, the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner is in the final years of his illustrious career. While he has not exactly shown signs of slowing down, there have been some high-profile errors that have hurt the team. With Joe Hart not in a position to become the first-choice, someone like Johnstone would be a good signing for the Lilywhites.
Apart from Manchester United and Tottenham, West Ham United are also in the fray for his signing. The Hammers, who could be set for European football next season, are in need of adding fresh blood into their goalkeeping department, with all their three custodians, Lukasz Fabianski (36), Darren Randolph (33) and David Martin (35) well into their thirties.
Johnstone, to that end, has emerged as a target for the Londoners. West Brom, for their part, will be open to selling the 28-year-old for a transfer fee of around £18 million as his contract expires in the summer of 2022. The report even adds that West Brom are favourites to land Johnstone as they are likely to offer him more regular playing time than either Manchester United or Tottenham.