United reportedly interested in bringing Johnstone back

Manchester United are facing the prospect of losing Dean Henderson in the summer after a frustrating season for the England international.

He is a talented goalkeeper who needs to be playing regular football, especially in order to realise his international ambitions.

World Cup 2022 is coming up at the end of the year and Henderson will not be involved unless his situation changes in terms of playing time.

And 90Min report that United have already eyed up a potential replacement, in the shape of West Brom’s Sam Johnstone.

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Johnstone of course came through the ranks at United before forging a career for himself elsewhere which has got him into the England picture.

The question for Johnstone is whether he wants to come back to Old Trafford and be a second choice, sitting behind David de Gea like Henderson is now.

That would essentially be signing away his own World Cup and England hopes to go back to the club where it all began.

Johnstone has the quality to keep de Gea on his toes, but would likely be realistic enough to know he would not be coming to Old Trafford with much prospect of playing beyond the cup competitions.

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The report claims that Johnstone has interest from clubs such as West Ham, Crystal Palace and Rangers, who could offer him first team football.

Playing regularly and well in the Premier League would give him a chance of staying in Gareth Southgate’s plans, which of course is a task which would become harder if Henderson goes somewhere and gets regular football.

United have already pulled off a similar transfer for a former academy goalkeeper in the shape of Tom Heaton, who is firmly third choice.

But Johnstone is still 28, seven years younger than Heaton and about to go into his prime, so would he really want to sit on the bench?

Time will tell, but Johnstone’s Baggies contract is running out at the end of the season, which makes him an even more attractive prospect and he is not short on options if the report is to be believed.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.