In Focus: Aston Villa face competition for Johnstone

West Bromwich Albion are interested in signing on-loan Aston Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone from Manchester United in January, according to The Sun.

What’s the word?

The 24-year-old has been on loan at Villa Park since January of this year, and manager Steve Bruce has made no secret of the fact that he wants to sign the shot-stopper permanently.

Johnstone has started all 17 of Villa’s Championship fixtures, but they could be disrupted in January.

The Sun claims that West Brom think the keeper would provide decent competition for current number one Ben Foster.

The report adds that a £5m bid could be submitted in January to United, who have the option of recalling Johnstone when the winter window opens.

Could Villa miss out?

From the player’s point of view, it would not make sense to leave a club as first choice and join another as second string.

The problem that Johnstone has had throughout his six years at United is a lack of game time.

Villa have given the Englishman the chance to be first name on the teamsheet, so unless the Baggies are prepared to offer him a huge financial incentive, it would be odd to consider it at this stage.

In addition, West Brom are now without a permanent head coach after parting company with Tony Pulis on Monday morning.

When a new manager is appointed, transfer plans could change, and if not, Johnstone will have to work even harder to win over the leader.