Date: 3rd January 2018 at 9:04am
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Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has confirmed that the club are interested in striking a permanent deal to sign goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who is currently on loan at Villa Park from Manchester United.

Xia was responding to a concerned fan on Twitter after it was reported by TeamTalk that Johnstone will be sold by United to Villa’s bitter West Midlands rivals West Brom for £4million after activating a clause in his loan deal to see him return to Old Trafford early.

However the Express and Star then reported that the Baggies had not reached an agreement to sign the 24-year-old goalkeeper, although the ex-England Under-21 international had told his friends that he was going to move to the Hawthorns this month.

Xia has now confirmed that Aston Villa are hopeful Johnstone will agree to become their player on a permanent basis for next season and has rubbished any reports about the Man United loanee’s move to West Brom.

“Just like all stories to fill with newspaper space. He will be with us, hopefully we go up then he will be permanently. I think Villa is his fortunate place,” he said on his personal Twitter account on Tuesday.

Johnstone initially joined Villa on loan from United last January and after a brilliant run of form he was signed up again on a season-long deal in the summer.

The proven Championship performer has made 48 appearances for the Villains across all competitions since joining them, keeping an impressive 19 clean sheets in the process.

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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