Tom Heaton set for Burnley departure with Aston Villa leading the chase
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Tom Heaton looks set to complete an £8m move from Burnley to Aston Villa, according to reports.

Heaton will join a whole host of summer arrivals for the Villans as the Premier League new boys look to get off to a flying start in their long-awaited return to the top flight. 

A changing of the guard

The 33-year-old was entering the final year of his Burnley contract and wanted assurances of first-team football.

Those assurances were tested when Nick Pope signed a four-year extension earlier in the summer; this extension highlighted the club's faith in Pope but will have done the reverse for Heaton.

Sean Dyche was aware that he couldn't retain two goalkeepers of their calibre and ultimately placed his backing in the younger option. 

Villa coach Dean Smith had been eager to bring Heaton in for a while. The Villains lacked an assured number-one, last season, using four goalkeepers over the course of the campaign. Jed Steer, who had started the season on loan at Charlton Athletic, returned to the fold under Smith and finished the season between the sticks.

However, given the nature of the top-flight, Smith would have wanted absolute clarity in a position of such importance. 

The Telegraph understands that the £8m base fee will come with £500,000 in add-ons. It also notes that Villa had been interested in Stoke City's Jack Butland and Cardiff City's Neil Etheridge but found better value for money in a move for Heaton. 

Big presence

Heaton was a fan's favourite at Turf Moor, racking up 200 appearances for the Clarets, managing to keep 65 clean sheets.

Many people will argue he was the best signing of the Dyche era after arriving from Bristol City on a free transfer with the Burnley captain known for being a leader and an excellent shot-stopper. 

Heaton will become Villa's 11th signing of the summer with the club taking the transfer window by storm.

They have spent over £100m on new recruits as they seek to establish themselves as the proud Premier League club that they once were. 

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