There looks likely to be a reshuffle in goal this summer at Manchester United with David de Gea slipping down to second choice.

The Spaniard’s wages are too costly for him to sit as a back-up, so it is very likely he will be sold or loaned out.

Sergio Romero, Lee Grant, and Joel Pereira’s contracts are also set to expire, meaning United will be looking for a new back-up to Dean Henderson.

We wrote in early April how two former United trainees, Sam Johnstone and Tom Heaton, may be able to fill squad needs. And both have subsequently been linked to the club.

West Bromwich Albion v Southampton - Premier League
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Johnstone would consider a return

Paul Pogba’s former United Youth Cup winning teammate Sam Johnstone only left the club in 2018, after seven different loan spells. At this time David de Gea playing at his peak.

His performances for West Brom this season have been impressive, he gave United a tricky time at Old Trafford, and he recently earned an England call-up. However, the Baggies look set to be relegated, adrift at 19th in the table.

ESPN report Johnstone is aware of United’s interest and he would be open to a return to Old Trafford.

This is despite the fact he would be ‘only’ a back-up to Dean Henderson.


There would still be enough games to go around to make a move attractive, evidenced by the way Henderson and De Gea have rotated this season, and Sergio Romero a year earlier, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer using his second choice as a ‘cup goalkeeper’.

Johnstone will have options. West Ham are reported by ESPN to be keen, as are Tottenham.

The attraction of returning to Old Trafford could sway Johnstone, although he will want to factor in his England ambitions too, having just made Gareth Southgate’s squad for the very first time in his career.

West Brom reportedly value Johnstone at £18 million – but United have a sell-on clause, which enables the club to reduce the fee.

Heaton an easier deal to conclude

Tom Heaton will become a free agent this summer once his contract at Aston Villa expires.

Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League
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While Heaton is 35, he is three years younger than Lee Grant, and may be able to offer more if United are looking for a second choice.

The Sun report United are keen on Heaton, although face competition from another of his former clubs, Burnley.

To add to the moving pieces at goalkeeper at United, the same outlet report Burnley are also interested in young Red Devils stopper Jacob Carney, who has been impressing this season on loan in Northern Ireland at Portadown.

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