Aston Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is set to join West Brom in the early weeks of the January transfer window after a fee was agreed with Manchester United, according to a report.

TeamTalk claims that United included a recall option in Johnstone’s loan deal at Villa Park for January and it is now understood that the Premier League side will activate it after agreeing a seven-figure fee worth £4million with the Baggies.

The news outlet states that West Brom were interested in the 24-year-old during Tony Pulis’ time in charge, however new manager Alan Pardew is still keen on the ex-England Under-21 international and is now on the brink of convincing him to move to the Hawthorns.

It is believed that Johnstone’s contract at Old Trafford was due to end at the end of the season and Man United have taken the decision to cash in on him now, meaning that he will be leaving Aston Villa to join their bitter West Midlands rivals.

Johnstone has been a mainstay of Steve Bruce’s first-team in 2017.

He was originally signed on loan in January, but returned to Villa Park in the summer and has made a total of 46 appearances for the Championship promotion hopefuls.

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Football Insider verdict

West Brom have a very good goalkeeper in Ben Foster, but his back-up option Boaz Myhill is a train wreck waiting to happen every time he is called upon to replace the ex-Birmingham shot-stopper in the first-team. The Baggies don’t have a lot of funds to play with in January so it shows a big statement of intent for them to fork out £4million for Johnstone, who they clearly see as someone who is a long-term replacement for Foster. This is a massive blow for Villa because they don’t have any other good options to play between the sticks. Bruce may have to bring someone else in on loan due to Financial Fair Play restrictions.

In other Aston Villa news, the Villains have made an approach for this goalscoring midfielder from a high-flying English club.

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