Manchester United seeking £6.5 million for Sam Johnstone this summer

Manchester United have reportedly slapped a £6.5 million price tag on goalkeeper Sam Johnstone ahead of the summer transfer window. The 24-year-old has not yet played a competitive match for the Old Trafford club and only last week it was reported that the club had activated a clause in the player’s contract which would keep him at the Theatre of Dreams for another 12 months. Johnstone has been on loan at Championship club Aston Villa this season as the Birmingham club chase promotion back to the Premier League.

The report in The Sun has suggested that the player has not yet been notified about Jose Mourinho’s plans for him next season, in which he will be greatly behind David De Gea, Sergio Romero, and Joel Pereira in the pecking order. Not yet playing for his club on a competitive level, at his age, will be seen as a negative but for him it was the worst time for him to come through the clubs Academy. Johnstone is a proficient goalkeeper who has plenty of first team experience at other clubs, which has seen him increase his ability and confidence in the game.

Johnstone would prefer to remain at Villa Park permanently and perhaps the club were looking to confirm that in the summer with Johnstone’s contract running out in the summer with the Birmingham club seeking to sign the player, who would have been a free agent at that time. It may be a blow that Villa would have to pay for the player’s services now but if they do win promotion to the Premier League, whether automatically or via the playoffs, they will have a lot of money at their disposal. It is not as if £6.5 million is a big fee for a player anyway.

It is stated in the report that Villa manager Steve Bruce will be seeking a conversation with Mourinho ahead of the summer, possibly in a bid to see if Johnstone will play a part in his plans for next season, which could then propel the Birmingham club to seek out a permanent deal with United. Johnstone recently spoke about him wanting to continue playing football and that he enjoyed the number of games he was playing, which is something he would not be doing at first team level at United, saying:

“I want to keep playing football. I’m enjoying the number of games I’m playing. The Premier League is where you want to be week in, week out. I’d love it for this club to be a part of that next season.”

Johnstone remaining at Villa permanently in the summer would be great for the 24-year-old. He would only be a bit part player at United with the form of David De Gea and even if the Spaniard left Old Trafford, Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira would remain ahead of him, meaning he could be stuck playing Premier League 2 level football, which at 24 is not the sort of ‘competitive’ football he needs to play in to continue to develop. Johnstone would probably like to play for England and with Joe Hart falling from grace, it could be the perfect time for him to show his abilities.

I am not saying Johnstone is good enough to play for England now and lead the team into the FIFA World Cup in Russia, but right now the England team will be needing a massive overhaul to ready the team for the future. England will need to push forward the talented youth who could help make the team become competitive and Johnstone, along with Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland, could be part of that new generation. If so, Johnstone would be considered to still be behind both Pickford and Butland, but if Villa are promoted, next season could see his stock rise further.

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