Tottenham reckon they’ve got the drop on Man Utd regarding a summer swoop for Sam Johnstone, and reports have hinted why they’re ‘very confident’.
The West Brom goalkeeper looks on course for a return to the big time this summer. Johnstone, 29, looked every bit a Premier League keeper during his one full season in the top flight in 2020-21.
Indeed, Johnstone scooped both the West Brom Supporters’ Player of the Year and West Brom Players’ Player of the Year awards that season.
Yet even those heroics weren’t enough to prevent the Baggies suffering relegation back to the Championship.
And despite being one of the pre-season favourites to win promotion, West Brom are now almost certain to miss out.
Yet while the Baggies will stay put in the second tier, Johnstone looks destined to be back in the Premier League next season.
His contract expires this summer and manager Steve Bruce recently admitted the likeliest scenario is Johnstone will leave.
United’s Sam Johnstone advantage holds no weight
But according to Football League World, it is Spurs who are confident they’ll be the victors. That’s despite United holding the distinct advantage of having Johnstone on their books for eight years between 2011-18.
The outlet describe Antonio Conte’s side as ‘very confident’ of securing Johnstone’s signature.
If signed, he would likely take Pierluigi Gollini’s spot as back-up to Hugo Lloris.
The Italian will return to Atalanta when his loan spell concludes this summer. Spurs have an option to make his stint permanent, though he has not done enough to impress.
The report suggests Johnstone’s decision could be swayed by where he’ll get the most game-time as he approaches his 30s.
Spurs want Sam Johnstone as back-up GK
Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly looking for a new back-up keeper for next season and top of their list is West Bromwich Albion keeper Sam Johnstone, who has enjoyed a good season at the Hawthorn’s.
His chances of displacing the 31-year-old David de Gea at Old Trafford any time soon would appear slim. In contrast, Lloris is already 35 and his current contract expires in 2024. As such, he presents a somewhat easier target for Johnstone to eventually supersede.
He could thus be viewed as the Frenchman’s long-term successor, though may not have to wait that long anyway. Football Insider recently suggested Spurs think Johnstone could be capable of taking Lloris’ position earlier than 2024.
Sky Sports had indicated a Johnstone return to Man Utd would almost certainly spark a Dean Henderson exit.
The 24-year-old is reportedly frustrated at taking a backseat to De Gea this season and is actively seeking a way out. Johnstone would’ve been his natural replacement as the No 2.
However, it now appears Spurs are the frontrunners with incoming United boss Erik ten Hag poised to taste his first piece of transfer disappointment.