Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is uncertain about his future at Old Trafford after being overlooked for their opening Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur.
The young goalkeeper, who spent time on loan with Preston North End last season, helping them step up to the Championship via the League One play-offs, was tipped to start for the Red Devils against Spurs on Saturday, 8 August.
Johnstone was ever-present during United's pre-season tour of the United States, where he featured in all four of the Red Devils' games in the International Champions Cup.
He was tipped to be given the nod between the sticks for the opening league game, after Louis van Gaal omitted David de Gea citing a lack of focus due to the speculation surrounding his future at the club.
However, the Dutch manager opted to field summer arrival Sergio Romero, despite the Argentine stopper only joining the club two weeks prior to the start of the season.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper is unsure what his future holds, as he is contracted to the 20-time English champions until the summer of 2017, but has admitted that he would like to be back on loan to his hometown club Preston.
The Championship club were keen on taking him back on loan, but had to turn their attention elsewhere at the last minute due to United's indecision regarding their 'keepers' future.
"I'm not sure. Nothing has been said really. We're waiting on different situations and have to see how it pans out," Johnstone is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
"I need to play games but on the other hand I'm contracted here to Manchester United. It (the future of other keepers) does have a knock-on effect on me."
"I appreciated that Preston waited until last weekend. They had to bring someone in because they had their first game on Sunday. But if I get the chance to go out on loan I would still like to go back," he added.
"I finished last season on a high playing in the play-off final at Wembley with my hometown club so I need to kick on from that, but hopefully if I am involved a lot I can still learn here."
Despite the snub on the opening day of the campaign, the young 'keeper admits that there is a cordial relationship between all the stoppers. United have five goalkeepers on their books and it is expected that the Dutchman will sign another keeper in the event of De Gea's departure to Real Madrid.
Victor Valdes and Anders Lindegaard are expected to be offloaded before the close of the transfer window. The former has already been asked to leave the club by the manager, while the latter is expected to be allowed to go on a free transfer despite one year remaining on his contract.
"There are four keepers – David, Sergio, Victor and Anders – and it's great for me picking their brains and trying to improve."
"They may have individual problems but they don't bring them to training. The manager has said that David has gone about his business in the right way, and we stick together," the young Englishman explained.
"Whoever plays, the other keepers are behind him. And you have to realise that we are working with the goalkeeper who is going to play to prepare him for the game. We are friends but there is a healthy rivalry."
Johnstone has admitted that he was disappointed not to get his debut, despite impressing in the pre-season, but has complimented Romero on his performance against the north London club, which they won by a solitary own goal scored by Kyle Walker.