By Laura O'Leary

20th Dec, 2017 | 7:53pm

West Ham to battle for Man United 24-year-old who could have deal terminated in Jan – report

West Ham are set to join the race for Manchester United’s Sam Johnstone who is impressing on loan at Aston Villa this season according to a report.

The Daily Mirror claims that the Hammers are keen to add the £5million-rated goalkeeper to their squad next season after Joe Hart returns to Manchester City.

The Villans want to keep the 24-year-old with Steve Bruce saying they’d try their best, but the Hammers also face competition for Johnstone from West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace.

The report states that Johnstone could have his loan deal ended in January, in order to secure a permanent transfer away from Manchester United.

Football Insider Verdict

West Ham look like they’re benefiting from having two goalkeepers compete to be their first choice this season, and will want to have that next year as well. Johnstone has showcased his ability in the Championship this season, getting valuable experience under his belt. This makes the goalkeeper an ideal option to sign in the summer, after Hart departs. However the deal may be a tough one to pull off, with the club facing lots of competition. The other stumbling block is that with Manchester United willing to cut his loan short in January, they clearly want him to a secure a move then. If the Hammers are only interested in him once Hart leaves, they’ll be in no rush to start negotiations.

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In other West Ham United news, the Hammers have named a price for their wantaway star.

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