Aston Villa are reportedly keen on signing Sam Johnstone from Manchester United on a permanent deal in the winter transfer window

According to a report in The Sun, Aston Villa are eager to secure the services of Sam Johnstone on a permanent deal in January. The English goalkeeper is currently on a season-long loan spell at Villa Park, his second at the Midlands club.

Johnstone joined the fabled Manchester United academy in 2009, making rapid strides before breaking into the first-team setup in 2011. But while he has featured in several friendlies for the club, the shot stopper is yet to make a single competitive appearance for the Red Devils, with David De Gea the firm first-choice goalkeeper at Old Trafford.

Therefore, the 24-year-old has also been a journeyman of sorts while at Manchester United, having embarked on ten different loan spells since 2011. And with Joel Pereira now a part of the first-team setup as the third-choice goalkeeper, Johnstone is unlikely to make a senior appearance for the club.

His last two loan spells meanwhile, have been immensely successful as the Englishman has established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper at Aston Villa, who first signed him on a short-term loan earlier this year in January, before bringing him back to Villa Park on a season-long deal.

In all, Johnstone has made 33 appearances for Villa over the two spells, keeping an impressive 13 clean sheets in the process – the most by a goalkeeper in the Championship since he moved to Villa Park. And the Villans are now keen on securing a permanent transfer for the goalkeeper, who has become a pivotal figure for them.

Aston Villa manager, Steve Bruce, too, has gone on record to confirm the club’s intentions with regards to Johnstone, admitting that he would like to see the 24-year-old grow as the club’s number one in the next few years.

““It would be great to keep him here for the next few years as Villa’s No1. I will need to ask the question. The ideal move for us would be to buy him in January. You’ve seen it, a young goalkeeper coming in and getting better with every game he plays.

“The difference in him since he’s started in January to now is light years. He’s confident, playing every week and he’s playing real football.”

Therefore, Villa are set to make a move to secure the player’s services on a permanent basis in January on a cut-price deal, even though his deal with Manchester United will expire next summer as they want to protect against the potential threat of another club poaching him away.

It now remains to be seen if Johnstone’s Manchester United career indeed comes to an end in January, as Aston Villa look to make their latest deal for him a permanent one.

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