By Wayne Veysey

30th Dec, 2016 | 2:26pm

Aston Villa handed reported major transfer boost by Jose Mourinho

By Harry Sykes

Aston Villa have been given a boost by Manchester United after Jose Mourinho revealed that Sam Johnstone will be allowed to go out on loan in the January window.

Speaking on Friday afternoon, the United boss claim that the goalkeeper, 23, will be the only player from his squad who will leave Old Trafford on a temporary deal next month.

The official United Twitter account quoted Mourinho as saying Johnstone can find new employers for the second half of the season.

Mourinho’s comments are a major boost to Villa as the Championship club attempt to seal a loan deal for Johnstone, who is behind David de Gea and Sergio Romero in the Old Trafford pecking order.

The Birmingham Mail reported earlier this month that a deal is done for the United keeper to move to Villa, as they “have an agreement to take the 23-year-old on loan when the window opens”.

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But other reports have suggested interest in Johnstone from Premier League clubs, suggesting that Steve Bruce’s team still have some work to do to push through the transfer.

Nevertheless, Johnstone’s confirmed availability next month gives Villa the chance to make a concerted move to reinforce the goalkeeper position in the squad.

Johnstone has been reportedly pencilled in to replace summer signing Pierluigi Gollini, who has been axed for the last three matches in favour of his former understudy Mark Bunn.

Gollini had been the established number one at Villa Park but has been criticised for a number of high profile errors this season and could be sold next month.

Football Insider verdict:

Mourinho’s comments will be a huge boost for Johnstone, whose chances of first-team football at United any time soon are remote, bordering upon non-existent. For the sake of his career, the goalkeeper needs to go out on loan to Villa, rather than be left waiting in the wings at another top flight club. Aged 23, he is past the point of playing regular Premier League 2 football with the aspiring academy products. The keeper needs competitive first-team football, and Villa can offer that.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, it has been confirmed that the club are in talks over a monster striker deal.