'I was licking my lips after Leeds approach' - Whelan reacts as player close to joining Villa


Aston Villa will be getting a top-class goalkeeper who can play at the top for another six years if they complete the signing of Tom Heaton, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker has no doubt about Heaton’s pedigree or the difference he can make to the Premier League new boys.

Villa are closing in on the signing of the England international, with Football Insider revealing earlier today they have re-opened talks with Burnley to sign him for £8million.

Whelan highlighted how Leeds have tried to sign Heaton during their search for a keeper before eventually sealing the capture of Kiko Casilla from Real Madrid.

“Leeds tried to sign him a while back, I was licking my lips after our (Leeds) approach,” Whelan told Football Insider. “A very solid keeper is a must for any ambitious side, and Heaton definitely fits the bill.

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“Villa will be getting a keeper who makes outstanding saves, provides good ball distribution, and is a good talker and communicator.

“He may be 33, but he can play at the top for another, four, five, six years. He is not old for a keeper. Villa are right to push the boat out to get him. He could make all the difference this season.”

Heaton has been a mainstay of the Burnley side that has become an established Premier League outfit during Sean Dyche’s reign.

The former Bristol City ace has made 200 appearances for the Clarets during his six years at the club and progressed to a full England international.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a club are tabling £2m-a-year United player offer as talks advance.