Manchester United are currently in talks with Aston Villa over United keeper Sam Johnstone over a potential loan move. Johnstone is United’s third choice keeper behind David De Gea and Sergio Romero, though is rated very highly by manager Jose Mourinho. Steve Bruce is looking to swoop up Johnstone to Aston Villa to strengthen his team’s goalkeeping department. Pierluigi Gollini was brought in this summer for a £4 million deal from Hellas Verona, but the Italian keeper has looked shaky at the back.
Fellow Villa shot-stoppers Mark Bunn and Jed Steer have also been sidelined and therefore they have lacked consistency with Gollini making costly mistakes to make the hopeful promotion seem unlikely, his latest error coming in the 2-0 defeat to Leeds United early December.
Bruce also feels Gollini’s inexperience at the age of 21 is still new and premature for the Championship side. Sam Johnstone, however, who signed an extension deal till 2018 with the Red Devil’s in October, had already enjoyed a successful loan spell at Preston North End last term helping Simon Grayson’s side secure promotion to the second tier, playing in the paly-off win against Swindon at Wembley.
Being two years older than Gollini and brought up in England, Sam Johnstone has more experience and knows the demands of a championship side. The former England youth international is reportedly being ready to be sent out on loan again for the second period of the season according to Jose Mourinho.
It is very unlikely Johnstone would make a competitive appearance for the Manchester club with De Gea still between the posts. But the youngster is still extremely keen on playing in the staring eleven for the Red Devils rather than just sitting on the sidelines.
However Steve Bruce will face competition from Norwich City, Bristol City and Wigan Athletic, who have all lined up offers for the 23 year olds services between the sticks. But Villa will be hoping to land Johnstone in January on loan to make him the first signing of the transfer window.