English club in pole position for 24-year-old Man Utd ace

Villa believe they are favourites to land Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

The 24-year-old is boss Steve Bruce’s No.1 keeper target having impressed during a loan spell last season.

Johnstone is not short of suitors with Villa’s Championship rivals Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Leeds all thought to be in the hunt, along with Premier League Watford.

But chief executive Keith Wyness is confident Villa are at the front of the pack and expects more progress on the deal next week.

Wyness said: “United still don’t know what they’re doing with their goalkeeping situation before they decide.

“I think we’re still in pole position. It will probably be another loan.”

Johnstone, who had a spell on loan at Walsall earlier in his career, has found himself well down the pecking order at Old Trafford and is now effectively the club’s fourth choice keeper.

Bruce hopes the promise of regular first team football will be enough to lure a player who made 24 appearances for Villa last term, keeping eight clean sheets.

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