Luton Town may have advantages over both Oxford United and Birmingham City in transfer race

With the summer transfer now well underway, many clubs are starting to get their business up and running as they prepare for next season.

Luton Town are certainly no different, as they aim to bounce back following relegation from the Premier League to the Championship at the end of the 2023/24 campaign.

Over the weekend, the Hatters completed their first signing of the summer, with midfielder Shandon Baptiste arriving on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract with Brentford.

Even so, there is a good chance they will need to make further additions before the window closes, if they are to compete for an immediate return to the Premier League this season.

Now it seems as though Luton are indeed looking to do just that, with Rob Edwards’ side seemingly set for something of a transfer battle with two Football League rivals.

Luton Town in Max Johnston transfer race

According to a recent report from Sky Sports journalist Anthony Joseph, the Hatters have made enquires about the loan signing of right-back Max Johnston from Sturm Graz.

The 20-year-old only joined the Austrian side from Motherwell last summer, and helped his new team complete a domestic league and cup double last season.

Max Johnston 2023/24 Austrian Bundesliga stats for Sturm Graz – from SofaScore









Pass Success Rate


Tackles per Game


Clearances per Game


Balls Recovered per Game


As a result, he could be a useful asset for Luton, if they manage to complete a deal for the right-back.

They will though, face competition for his signature, with Oxford United and Birmingham City also said to have asked about a potential loan deal for Johnston.

But despite that, there could be an argument that the Hatters may have an advantage over both of those two rivals, as they look to complete a deal for the right-back.

Kenilworth Road move could appeal to Max Johnston

The priority for any player looking for a loan move in the transfer window, is always likely to be regular game time to aid their development, especially at Johnston’s age.

Right now, Luton have just one senior natural right-back option on the books at Kenilworth Road, in the form of Daiki Hashioka.

By contrast, Oxford have already completed the signing of one option in that right-back position this summer, in the form of Peter Kioso.

With Sam Long also an option in that position for Des Buckingham’s side, that could make it harder for Johnston to force his way into the side at the Kassam Stadium, with more competition for his main position than there would be at Luton.

Admittedly, it does seem as though Birmingham may need to sign another right-back, after Cody Drameh’s spell on loan from Leeds United ended earlier this summer.

However, the Blues were of course, relegated from the Championship to League One on the final day of last season.

So with Luton able to offer Johnston the chance to play in the second rather than third-tier of English football if he does complete a loan move to England, a move to Kenilworth Road could be seen as more appealing to him in that sense as well.

Indeed, following their relegation, the Hatters will be expected to challenge for a return to the top-flight next season.


Birmingham City, Luton Town and Oxford United in transfer battle

The defender is attracting plenty of loan interest from the EFL

Those expectations may have been enhanced after they agreed a new long-term contract with promotion-winning manager Edwards last month as well.

Therefore, the chance to be part of a side that will have their eyes firmly on some significant success next season could also make this switch a tempting one for Johnston, given it could even open the door to a move to the Premier League for him, if he impresses during this loan spell.

So it seems that with the situations at those clubs interested in a deal for Johnston, Luton may have reason to be confident they can convince him that Kenilworth Road is his most suitable summer destination.

Latest news
Related news