Fraser Forster’s expected move to Tottenham could open the doors for Manchester United to complete one incoming transfer and one outgoing transfer in the goalkeeping department. Dean Henderson’s future this summer is uncertain with Newcastle eager to do a deal for him.
Forster is meanwhile set to leave Southampton when his contract expires in a month’s time, with Tottenham set to snap him up to replace the departing Pierluigi Gollini. The north London outfit were previously linked with soon-to-be free agent Sam Johnstone, who plies his trade at West Brom in the Championship.
However, with the England keeper, 29, set to depart the Hawthorns and with Forster’s move to Spurs, United could swoop. Henderson has previously admitted he wants regular minutes which suggests he will leave United this summer and that could open allow a sensational return to Old Trafford for Johnstone.
The Preston-born shot-stopper was on the books at United until 2018, having endured 10 loan spells away from the Theatre of Dreams. He joined West Brom for a fee of around £6.5million and since earned a place in the England national team.
And if Henderson departs – with rumours linking him to Newcastle given their newly-rich status – Johnstone could well return to United for free, freeing up funds elsewhere to bring in other much-needed reinforcements. United’s technical advisor Ralf Rangnick previously told the club that he pleaded with Henderson to stay at the club.
“Well, I told him that I would like him to stay because he’s a fantastic goalkeeper,” Rangnick said in January. “In training yesterday, he had another couple of fantastic saves. I really like to have him on board, as one of three top goalkeepers.
“I can fully understand that he wants to play because he’s in an age where as a goalkeeper he should regularly play. On the other hand, we are still in three competitions, we need the three goalkeepers we have right now.
“I told him that but I can also on the other hand understand his desire to get game time elsewhere in the Premier League.”
If Henderson does move to Eddie Howe’s side, Johnstone could return after just four years of service in the West Midlands. It would be a step up for the player and also a brilliant addition for the Red Devils.
He will, however, play second fiddle to David de Gea if he makes the switch. And that could be a stumbling block to any deal. If they could convince him a return was worthwhile though, Henderson out and Johnstone in would make a whole load of sense if they can attract a big fee for the former.