Manchester United facing goalkeeper crisis as third-choice Sam Johnstone sets sights on loan move away from Old Trafford 

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By Sam Cunningham for MailOnline

Published: 12:16 GMT, 5 August 2015 | Updated: 12:23 GMT, 5 August 2015

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Manchester United's goalkeeper crisis is worsening with third-choice Sam Johnstone in demand and eager to move on loan if he is not going to play this season.

David De Gea's future remains in doubt, although he is expected to start in the season opener against Tottenham at the weekend, new signing Sergio Romero is currently No 2, but Victor Valdes and Anders Lindegaard are both on their way out.

United do not want Johnstone to leave with their goalkeeper situation in such disarray, but the player has impressed on loan at Preston, where he helped gain promotion to the Championship and kept a clean sheet in the play-off final after joining them in January.  

Sam Johnstone (left) is eager to move on loan if he is not going to play this season

Sam Johnstone (left) is eager to move on loan if he is not going to play this season

David De Gea's future is in doubt, although he is expected to start in the season opener against Tottenham

David De Gea's future is in doubt, although he is expected to start in the season opener against Tottenham

Sergio Romero is the only goalkeeper with a certain future at Old Trafford after signing as a free agent

Sergio Romero is the only goalkeeper with a certain future at Old Trafford after signing as a free agent

Victor Valdes has infuriated Louis van Gaal with the United boss keen to see him leave the club

Victor Valdes has infuriated Louis van Gaal with the United boss keen to see him leave the club

Anders Lindegaard has been told he can leave on a free transfer with his services no longer required

Anders Lindegaard has been told he can leave on a free transfer with his services no longer required

They would like to take him back there, while other Championship clubs are interested should he be made available.

The 22-year-old has played for England at several youth levels, but his progress has been hampered by a lack of action in Manchester, which has not changed under Louis Van Gaal.

It is understood that United did not even send club staff to monitor his progress at Preston, despite its close to proximity to Old Trafford, and friends of the player indicate he was unhappy with the snub.

Johnstone in action during United's pre-season friendly against Barcelona in Santa Clara, California

Johnstone in action during United's pre-season friendly against Barcelona in Santa Clara, California

De Gea is likely to move to Real Madrid before the end of the transfer window and Valdes would have made the ideal replacement but is set to be sold by the club after Van Gaal claimed he refused to play in an Under 21 match, which makes the goalkeeper situation even more precarious.

Romero joined the club as a free agent and lacks Premier League experience. Yet while United are keen to hold on to Johnstone for back-up as he moves up the pecking order, the player is determined to find first-team action.

Johnstone, who joined United's academy in 2009, has had loan spells at Scunthorpe, Walsall, Yeovil and Doncaster Rovers. He has twice made it on to the bench for the first team and signed a three-and-a-half year deal under David Moyes last year.

The keepers are understood to have reservations over the methods of new goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek

The keepers are understood to have reservations over the methods of new goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek

United have lined up Jasper Cillessen of Ajax but parachuting in a goalkeeper without pre-season is not ideal

United have lined up Jasper Cillessen of Ajax but parachuting in a goalkeeper without pre-season is not ideal

Van Gaal faces some complicated matters which will need to be resolved before the end of the month

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