Talks next week: Aston Villa make move to sign PL ace who has proven his value
By Harry Sykes
Steve Bruce has revealed he will hold talks with Jose Mourinho to thrash out a deal to bring Sam Johnstone to Aston Villa.
The Villa manager explained he will speak to his counterpart at Manchester United to negotiate the transfer of the goalkeeper, 24.
It has been reported this week that the Midlands club are ready to offer £3million for Johnstone after a series of impressive displays during his loan spell.
There is also the possibility that the Premier League player could return for a second loan to the Championship outfit.
Bruce did not reveal any details of what form the transfer could be but insisted that Johnstone’s development would be best served by regular first-team football.
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“I hope to have a conversation with Mr Mourinho in the next week or so,” Bruce said, as quoted by the Mirror.
““I have said I want to keep him if I could but I respect Jose and what his wishes are. I think Sam wants to play because he has got better.”
The Old Trafford academy graduate had some teething problems at Villa after joining the Championship outfit at the start of the January transfer window.
But his form has improved along with his teammates, and the goalkeeper has proved increasingly difficult to bypass over the last month, proving his value by conceding a single goal as Villa have won five of their last six matches.
Johnstone, who has yet to make his senior United debut, has made 14 appearances for Villa, conceding 17 goals and keeping five clean sheets.
Bruce replaced Roberto Di Matteo at Villa Park and initially oversaw a revival before a crippling set of results either side of the new year effectively ended the club’s promotion hopes.
Villa have won five of their last six matches to climb to 12th in the Championship table but are 11 points adrift of Sheffield Wednesday, who are sixth and in the final promotion spot.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, talks are to get underway as a proven Premier League performer wants to join the Midlands club.