Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is set to allow Sam Johnstone to leave the club on a temporary basis during the upcoming January transfer window. The young goalkeeper has been told by the manager that he can leave the club on loan in the New Year.
According to the Daily Mail, there are a number of clubs interested in signing the Red Devils stopper, with Wolves, Fulham and Preston North End registering interest in signing him for the remainder of the 2015/16 campaign. Johnstone has failed to break into the first-team this season, and is behind David de Gea and Sergio Romero in the pecking order and is unlikely to get an opportunity with the senior squad.
Johnstone was touted to start the season as the 20-time English champions' No 1 due to the contract wrangle between the club and De Gea, who was on the verge of a move to Real Madrid. The manager, however, chose to stick with Romero for the opening four Premier League matches despite Johnstone starting every game for United during their pre-season tour of the United States.
The 22-year-old England U20 international enjoyed a successful spell with Preston last season and played a key role in helping the club gain promotion to the Championship, and they showed interest yet again this summer to take the young stopper on loan. Van Gaal blocked the move due to the uncertainty surrounding the Spanish international's future at the club. This incensed Johnstone's agent, who accused the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager of holding back the young English talent.
"Sam just wants to play football but Manchester United are holding him back and not even playing him," Segal told the Daily Mail, as quoted by Goal.com
"He is a young goalkeeper and it is time for him to play regularly. If that is not at Manchester United, then it has to be elsewhere. This is an example of young English talent being held back by Van Gaal."