Doncaster Rovers: Dickov close to decision on Manchester United loan star Sam Johnstone

Sam Johnstone. Photo: Steve Uttley
Sam Johnstone. Photo: Steve Uttley

Paul Dickov expects to find out whether he can keep in-form goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for the rest of the season before this weekend’s game with Birmingham City.

Johnstone’s extended loan spell at the Keepmoat Stadium is due to expire after Rovers’ meeting with the Blues.

But Dickov has been in contact with Manchester United boss David Moyes and is eagerly awaiting a response on the 21-year-old’s immediate future.

Fit-again Ross Turnbull stands by to replace Johnstone against Bolton next Tuesday - but Dickov is keen to keep hold of the England Under 21 international for Rovers’ remaining seven games.

Johnstone has kept four clean sheets in 11 appearances for Rovers and his impressive handling and shot-stopping has apparently alerted the attention of Premier League wannabes Burnley and Derby about the prospect of a season-long loan deal next term.

Dickov said: “At the minute it’s his last game against Birmingham.

“We’ve had conversations [to extend the loan deal]. Before Saturday’s game we’ll have more news on that.

“For me as the manager, it’s a fantastic situation to have two top English goalkeepers on our books and have the competition for places. They’ve both been outstanding for me.”

Turnbull has been sidelined since late January with a calf injury but made his comeback in a reserve game last month.

“Ross is getting there,” said Dickov. “His injury has healed up. He just needs to get a few games under his belt.

“He had a practice match in training the other day that was arranged specifically for him.”