West Bromwich Albion are considering making a move for Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, according to the Daily Mail.
The publication’s live blog (July 1 at 16.10) claimed that the Red Devils are looking for a fee in the region of £5m for their outcast keeper.
Johnstone has been on United’s books since 2011 when he graduated from the academy, but he has not been given any first-team opportunities.
The last season and a half has been spent on loan at Aston Villa, where he played a big role in the club reaching the 2017-18 Championship playoff final, in which they were beaten 1-0 by Fulham.
Villa’s failure to earn promotion to the Premier League, which has impacted their finances, has poured significant doubt over their ability to sign Johnstone on a permanent deal.
It is more than likely that Johnstone will be looking for a new club due to the lack of minutes at United.
The 25-year-old is already well-versed in second tier football, and the reported modest price tag makes it a no-brainer from the Baggies’ point of view.
The club’s current number one Ben Foster has been linked to a handful of other clubs, and his absence from a pre-season trip has led to suggestions that he is on his way out.
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Losing Foster would be a blow, but if Johnstone signs on the dotted line, the Baggies can feel secure with the United man between the sticks.
He knows what it takes to be part of a promotion challenge, which means that he has the mental strength to cope with the pressure and heavy fixture schedule.