Manchester United do not have the best record when it comes to player sales and according to recent reports, after identifying former goalkeeper Sam Johnstone as a potential replacement for Dean Henderson, that doesn’t look like improving.
A recent report from 90min claims the Red Devils would be keen to re-sign Johnstone, 28, if Henderson, a fellow United academy graduate, ends up departing the club in the summer.
Despite showing the potential of rivalling number one David De Gea for the club’s number one jersey under former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Henderson has since fallen back down in the side’s pecking order.
The England international is understood to be keen to move on in order to secure first-team game time, something he stands little chance of achieving at Old Trafford given the continued inspired form of De Gea, and move to Newcastle United could very well be on the cards.
Although interim manager Ralf Rangnick also has the likes of Tom Heaton and Lee Grant at his disposal, Henderson is the club’s clear backup shot-stopper and if he leaves, the 20-times league winners will need to find a suitable replacement and that’s where Johnstone comes in.
Despite featuring close to 50 times for their youth academy, Johnstone failed to make a single senior appearance for United and was subsequently sold to West Brom in 2018 for just under £7m.
However, with his deal at the Baggies set to expire in four months’ time, a handful of clubs, including Crystal Palace, are keen on signing the 28-year-old, with Old Trafford also on the goalkeeper’s list of potential destinations.
If Manchester United do end up re-signing Johnstone, admittedly, a deal wouldn’t look half as bad as their re-signing of Paul Pogba from Juventus back in 2016.
After allowing the French midfielder to depart for free in 2012, the Red Devils then dished out a staggering £94.5m just four years later and that is a decision that rival fans have always been quick to mock the club over.
Desperate for the club’s decision-makers to take a more proactive approach to incomings, as well as outgoings, the United faithful are unlikely to welcome these latest reports.
Although the potential re-signing of West Brom’s Johnstone would be on a free transfer, the embarrassment of deeming a player not good enough only to make a U-turn a few years later seldom sits well with the club’s fans and that wouldn’t bode well for whichever manager takes over on a permanent basis next season.