Manchester United began the summer of 2021 with a move to re-sign a free agent goalkeeper, Tom Heaton.

And with the incessant obsession of a Pokemon collector ‘trying to catch them all’, United have set their sights on another.

The Red Devils are planning to hold talks over the signing of former United FA Youth Cup winner Sam Johnstone, 90 Min reports.

San Marino v England - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
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The same outlet claimed three weeks ago United were ‘considering’ Johnstone, and now this move appears to be moving forward.

The West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper, 28, is going to be a free agent at the end of this coming season.

How Johnstone fits into United plans

United’s goalkeeping department could undergo a few changes this summer. Dean Henderson is likely to pursue an exit, one way or another, to try and salvage his flagging World Cup hopes.

The report from 90 Min claims Henderson is being eyed up by Newcastle United in the summer and they are ready to push ahead with the move once their Premier League status is confirmed by being mathematically safe from relegation.

There may be questions over David de Gea too, who has only one year remaining on his current contract. We wrote this week how the Spaniard’s style of play may be holding United back and contributing to the defensive issues.

The Mirror has also linked United with Sevilla’s Yassin Bounou, while The Sun has touted Dundee United goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist as a potential back-up option, who would be an alternative to Johnstone.

FBRef note Johnstone successfully stops 0.67 crosses into the penalty area per game, compared to De Gea’s 0.23.

Not a clear route to Johnstone

West Bromwich Albion v Southampton - Premier League
Photo by Adam Fradgley – AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images

Johntone has options aside from United. The Sun report progress over a potential West Ham move is advanced, where he could become the club’s number one.

TEAMtalk has also linked Johnstone with a possible move to Rangers, with Football London also claiming Tottenham are interested.

Ultimately the decision will lie with Johnstone, whether the lure of returning to United is so great that he is willing to accept not being first choice.

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