Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has confirmed interest in retaining Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone beyond the end of the current campaign.
The 24-year-old has spent the last eight years at Manchester United but is yet to make a competitive appearance for the first-team. He is currently on his sixth loan spell since breaking into the senior squad at Old Trafford and has spent time with seven different clubs including Oldham United, Scunthorpe United, Yeovil Town, Walsall, Doncaster Rovers, Preston North End and is currently with Villa.
Johnstone spent the first-half of the current season as United's third choice goalkeeper behind David de Gea and Sergio Romero, but his lack of game time saw Jose Mourinho sanction a loan move for the rest of the season to the west Midlands club. He has impressed during his time with Bruce's side making 13 appearances in the Championship thus far.
Villa are looking at another season in the Championship as they are currently 11 points away from the promotion play-off places with 10 games remaining and Bruce is keen to retain Johnstone beyond his current loan spell. He confirmed that he will speak to the Portuguese manager during the course of the season in the hope that he will be granted an extension.
"I am going to see Mr Mourinho. Everyone agrees that Sam needed to go and play football," Bruce said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
"The difference between him now and three months ago is there for all to see. He's grown into the role. He's now more comfortable in the role – and he's got that from playing.
"We have given him that platform to play. If there's an opportunity that we can get him to play more next season I would love to do it," the former United skipper explained.
"I will be having that conversation with Mr Mourinho when the time is right. But I hope we can extend it."
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