(Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
By Alex Beard
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has admitted he is desperate to sign goalkeeper Sam Johnstone from Manchester United on a permanent basis.
The 24-year-old is currently on loan at Villa Park from Jose Mourinho’s side, and has impressed mightily thus far, making a stunning save from Fulham’s Floyd Ayite in the Villain’s 2-1 win over the Whites on Saturday.
The Englishman has quickly established himself as the club’s number one, ahead of Jed Steer and Mark Bunn, and Bruce would be loath to lose him.
“We will do everything in our power to buy him from Manchester United,” the former Wigan and Hull boss told the Birmingham Mail.
“He’s got another year left on his United deal but he’s going to find it difficult to break through there because of what they’ve got.
“Players like that need to find a platform.”
Johnstone has made 13 appearances in all competitions for the Birmingham outfit this campaign, continuing the fine form he displayed for the club in the second half of last season.
He has been with the Red Devils’ since a young age, progressing through their academy but never making an appearance for the first team.
Instead, he has been farmed out on loan to the likes of Scunthorpe, Walsall, Doncaster and his home town club Preston North End.
However, he may now have found a permanent home at Villa Park, with United’s David de Gea and Sergio Romero providing an intimidating barrier to first team football.