Manchester United stopper Sam Johnstone is reportedly being eyed by Championship duo, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa

ESPN are claiming that Championship duo Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa are showing interest in Sam Johnstone. The Manchester United stopper is currently the third-choice goalkeeper behind David De Gea and Sergio Romero but is now a loan target for Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa.

Sam Johnstone has been at Manchester United from the academy level and has come up through the ranks at Old Trafford. The 23-year-old has been sent out on loans to the likes of Oldham Ahtletic, Scunthorpe Town, Walsall, Yeovil Town, Doncaster Rovers and Preston North End to gain some first-team experience.

Even though the academy ace is the third-choice at United, Jose Mourinho is reportedly an admirer of the 23-year-old’s abilities and even handed the player a contract extension in the summer.

His current deal is set to run till 2018 and Mourinho feels that, given the presence of Sergio Romero and David De Gea in the squad, it would be best for Johnstone to go out on loan to gain first-team experience.

Tipped for the sky. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Tipped for the sky. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

New Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce is looking to bolster his options at the goalkeeping position in January. Wigan Athletic, on the other hand, are also set to delve into the market for a better option in the goalkeeping department after Liverpool loanee Adam Bogdan was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury.

Wigan Athletic have recently appointed former Manchester United Under-23 manager Warren Joyce as their new boss and even though, like Joyce, Steve Bruce also has prior connections with Manchester United, it is thought that Joyce’s connections at the club, being more recent, could be a decisive factor in this scenario.

Also, Sam Johnstone has prior experience of working with Warren Joyce, with the duo having played under the Wigan boss for United’s under-23 side. The aforementioned reason coupled with the fact that Wigan is likely to present a better opportunity for young Sam to gain more playing time than at Aston Villa, who have the in-form Pierluigi Gollini, who is also an academy graduate from Manchester United.

Like the other famous Sams from the reel world, looks like this young Sam is also set for a fascinating journey. The United fans, for one, would be watching with anticipation as he embarks on his journey towards being a world-class custodian.

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