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30th Nov, 2016 | 4:47pm

Report: Aston Villa eye January loan for Man United 23-year-old, Mourinho to sanction deal

By Will Butcher

Aston Villa are looking to complete a January loan move for Manchester United ace Sam Johnstone, according to a report.

The 23-year-old stopper has struggled to become a part of Jose Mourinho’s plans at Old Trafford, with David de Gea and Sergio Romero ahead of Johnstone in the pecking order.

ESPN FC claim that Mourinho will sanction a deal that will allow Johnstone to leave in the January window, but Villa face competition from Championship rivals Wigan.

Villa are likely to enter the market for a new goalkeeper in January, as summer signing Pierluigi Gollini struggles to deliver any kind of consistency between the sticks at Villa Park.

A move for United’s number 32 would see Gollini team up with Johnstone for a second time, after the Italian came through the ranks at Old Trafford before moving to Verona in Italy.

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Yet to make a single appearance for United, Johnstone has gained first-team experience and an impressive reputation in the football league after spells with six different clubs.

The England Under-20 international has a contract with United until the summer of 2018, but will be looking to impress out on loan.

Football Insider verdict:

Highly-rated stopper Johnstone would be a good bit of business by Villa boss Steve Bruce, who is set to enter the January transfer market to bring in his own players. Gollini has failed to impress following his £4million move to the Midlands giants in the summer, keeping just five clean sheets in 17 league appearances. After loan spells with the likes of Preston North End, Doncaster Rovers and Yeovil Town, Johnstone knows the league well and will not need time to adapt. Likely to be available for a cut-price deal in the future, Bruce would be wise in bringing the United goalkeeper in on a temporary basis to judge whether a permanent move would benefit the club in the long run.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, this summer signing is fighting to save his Villa career.