Leeds are reportedly ready to rival Aston Villa and Sunderland for the signing of Manchester United’s Sam Johnstone after missing out on David Stockdale.
Leeds fan Stockdale will move to Birmingham as a free agent when his Brighton deal expires at the end of the month – a move surprising to many, given the Whites were among the clubs competing for his signature.
Stockdale – a lifelong Leeds United fan – helped Brighton finish second in the Championship, starting all but one of their league games, and he was named in the division’s team of the year after recording 18 clean sheets.
Leeds were understood to have made an enquiry to sign Stockdale with his agent, but the Yorkshire Evening Post claims the club did not follow up by making a firm offer for his services.
The keeper instead has opted for a move to Harry Redknapp’s side on a three-year deal.
Leeds have an established number one in 37-year-old Rob Green, but the former England keeper won’t go on forever and the club’s choice of keepers will be reduced if Marco Silvestri gets the move back to Italy that he is craving this summer.
Silvestri played only four times this season, all of those outings in cup fixtures, and he admitted before Christmas that he would consider his future if he failed to secure more regular football.
Bologna are among the clubs being linked with the former Chievo keeper, who has 12 months left on his contract at Elland Road.
The likely departure of Silvestri leaves Leeds on the hunt for more cover and competition for Green, and Manchester United’s Johnstone has emerged as a leading target.
The goalkeeper, now 24, has failed to make a single first-team appearance for United and, having now slipped to fourth choice behind David De Gea, Sergio Romero and Joel Periera, looks likely to leave this summer.
Johnstone spent time on loan at Aston Villa this season and having made 21 appearances for Steve Bruce’s side, a permanent move to Villa Park looks most likely for the towering custodian, who has counts Oldham, Preston and Doncaster among his other loan sides.
But Leeds could yet make a counter approach for his services, despite not yet having a new manager in place, while Sunderland are also reported to be keen.
Incoming Black Cats boss Derek McInnes has been asked by the club if he’d consider Johnstone as a potential candidate to fill the gloves of highly-rated England U21 keeper Jordan Pickford, who is closing on a £30million move to Everton.