By Danny Wright

5th Dec, 2017 | 8:36am

Contract decision made on proven performer wanted by Aston Villa - report

Manchester United have decided to take up the option to extend goalkeeper Sam Johnstone’s contract by an extra year, according to a report.

The Daily Mail claims that Aston Villa are looking to complete a permanent deal for Johnstone, 24, after he arrived for a second loan spell with the Championship club in the summer.

However the Villains will now have to pay a fee if they want to snap up Johnstone for good as Man United have moved to ensure that he doesn’t leave on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.

It is understood that the goalkeeper is also attracting attention from Premier League clubs, adding to Aston Villa’s heartache in trying to land Johnstone, who has become a proven performer in the Championship since originally joining in January.

The former England youth international has made 42 appearances across his two loan spells with Villa, keeping 16 clean sheets in the process.

Football Insider Verdict

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Johnstone has done very well since joining Villa and it would be great for Steve Bruce if he can complete a permanent deal for him. Johnstone is only 24 and still has his best years ahead of him but he has already played a vital role in the club’s promotion push this season as well as ensuring that there wasn’t a catastrophic finish last term in the Championship. Man United have been clever with their move. Ensuring that players have optional extra years in their contract is a good way of ensuring that they don’t go anywhere on the cheap. If Aston Villa are forced into paying a fee it may come as a huge blow though as Premier League sides will no doubt have the financial muscle to pull off a move over them.

In other Aston Villa news, the Villains are in the hunt for this Newcastle fringe player who has confirmed his frustrations at St. James’ Park.

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