By Harry Sykes

Aston Villa are “close” to completing the loan signings of Premier League duo Carl Jenkinson and Sam Johnstone, according to a report.

The Birmingham Mail claim that the Championship big hitters are nearing the finish line in their pursuit of Arsenal right-back Jenkinson, 24, and Manchester United goalkeeper Johnstone, 23.

It is said that manager Steve Bruce has now set his sights on landing a third player from the top flight who is struggling for game time.

Football Insider revealed on Tuesday that Villa had opened preliminary talks with Arsenal over a deal to sign Jenkinson until the end of the season.

Bruce is keen to have a deal in place by the start of January in order to immediately strengthen a side that is 13th in the Championship table.

The Villa boss has also sanctioned a move for United back-up keeper Johnstone, who is behind David de Gea and Sergio Romero in the Old Trafford pecking order.

Villa are expected to be one of the busiest Championship clubs in the January window as they continue their overhaul of a squad that was relegated from the Premier League last season.

Football Insider verdict:

Jenkinson will be a great signing for Bruce if Aston Villa can push through the deal. He is a Premier League quality right-back with plenty of top-level experience. The Englishman is available because he is working his way back to prime condition after a serious knee injury and half a season playing regularly in the Championship is just what he needs to reignite his career. Villa will be getting a young, hungry operator with something to prove.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club will make a £10million bid for a £50,000-a-week international ace.