Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly ‘set’ to sign West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone after Manchester United opted against a return for their academy graduate.
The 29-year-old is available on a free transfer this summer when the four-year contract signed when arriving from Man United is due to expire. Johnstone was left out of the Albion side by Steve Bruce for the final month of the season.
Otherwise an ever-present under the new manager after being reinstated for Bruce’s first match in charge against Sheffield United following a falling out with previous head coach Valerien Ismael. The goalkeeper totalled 36 appearances last season, keeping 15 clean sheets and conceding just 33 goals.
READ: Everton ‘watching’ Johnstone situation amid West Brom transfer battle
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Our colleagues at The Mirror are reporting that Spurs are ‘now favourites’ and ‘set to win the race’ for the free agent after the Red Devils ‘decided not to press ahead with their interest’. It is also said that Johnstone felt the need to be closer to first-team action rather than potentially behind David de Gea and fellow England goalkeeper Dean Henderson in the Old Trafford pecking order.
Whereas in North London, Hugo Lloris is the only senior ‘keeper at the club as this season’s backup Pierluigi Gollini, once of Aston Villa and also briefly Man United, is only on loan from Atalanta. The club do, though, have an option to make that move permanent.
Gollini has exclusively featured in cup competitions this season, and it is claimed that Johnstone is seen as an improvement in quality as a reinforcement behind the France national team captain. Lloris signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract at the club in January but does turn 36 years old before the end of the calendar year.