Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ready to fully promote Dean Henderson to No. 1 duties next season but doesn't expect David De Gea to accept a role as United's backup shot-stopper. The club has therefore identified West Bromwich Albion's Johnstone as a proven Premier League 'keeper who can potentially replace De Gea and provide competition for Henderson.
The 28-year-old spent nine years at Old Trafford before joining West Brom for £6.5 million in 2018. He had spells on loan at seven separate clubs before his move but never made a first-team appearance for United.
Johnstone wouldn't come cheap. West Brom value Johnstone at around £18 million, Ogden reports, but some of United's potential outlay would be offset by a sell-on clause that was included in the deal that took the Preston native to The Hawthorns. The sell-on clause is around 15%, according to The Telegraph's John Percy.
Despite United's potential offer of a return to Stretford, West Ham are understood to be the favorites to land Johnstone due to their manager, ex-United boss David Moyes, being prepared to promise regular first-team football to the goalkeeper.
Uncertainty over the identity of Tottenham's next manager and the future of captain Hugo Lloris currently places Spurs behind West Ham in the queue to acquire Johnstone.
West Brom are on the verge of relegation from the Premier League, but Johnstone has a better save percentage (71.2%) than the likes of Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel, West Ham's Lukasz Fabianski, Arsenal's Bernd Leno, Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rui Patricio, and United's De Gea.
Johnstone has also made more saves (141) than any other Premier League goalkeeper.