Manchester United keeper Sam Johnstone close to securing Aston Villa move

Reports suggest that Aston Villa are close to reaching an agreement with Manchester United for the signing of Sam Johnstone on a season-long loan. 

The signing has not officially been completed yet with some minor details still to iron out between the two sides before the 24-year-old can join up with the rest of the Villa squad for pre-season. Johnstone will be hoping that Villa can compete at the top of The Championship next season to try and gain a place in the Premier League

Not given a chance at Old Trafford

Due to the money now being spent by top flight clubs, it has made it harder and harder for youth talent to breakthrough into the first team. This has certainly been the case for Johnstone as he has not made a single appearance for United since emerging through their academy in 2011.

Johnstone impressed at Villa last season. (picture: Getty Images / Neville Williams)
Johnstone impressed at Villa last season. (picture: Getty Images / Neville Williams)

This has seen him loaned out to several different clubs across the Football League including Oldham Athletic, Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Yeovil Town, Doncaster Rovers, Preston North End and most recently Villa. However, despite gaining all this experience at a range of different levels, he has never been given the chance to shine at Old Trafford

His time spent on loan at Villa was without doubt his most valuable move yet as despite only joining the club in the January transfer window, he managed to make 22 appearances and kept eight clean sheets in the process. It is therefore clear to see why Villa want him to rejoin the club ahead of their promotion bid next season. 

On verge of striking a deal

Villa manager Steve Bruce is very keen on striking a deal with Jose Mourinho to bring Johnstone back to the club ahead of next season. It is also believed that Johnstone is keen on the move as well, considering he is unlikely to gain any first team experience at Old Trafford in the upcoming campaign. 

A sign that Johnstone could be on his way out on loan once again is that he was not included in United's squad for their pre-season tour in the USA. This is mainly because the goalkeeping trio of David de Gea, Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira are all ahead of him. This is a clear indicator to Johnstone that he is not in Mourinho's plans for next season. 

If Johnstone does make the move back to Villa Park, it could well lead to a permanent deal next summer. The keeper has less than a year remaining on his contract at United and will therefore be available on a free transfer in the future. If he impresses again with Villa next season, they may be tempted to secure his services on a permanent basis.