Report discloses Aston Villa's priority during January transfer window

Steve Bruce manager of Aston Villa looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Aston Villa at St Andrews on October 29, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce is reportedly keen to prioritise a deal for Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

Villa keeper Sam Johnstone in action  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park on February 20, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

According to a report from the Express and Star, Aston Villa have identified trying to make Sam Johnstone's loan move from Manchester United into a permanent deal as their priority for the January transfer window.

Johnstone is currently enjoying his second loan spell at Villa Park, having returned in the summer following a mixed spell between January and the end of last season.

Manager of Aston Villa Steve Bruce during the pre season friendly match between Aston Villa and Watford  at Villa Park on July 29, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

The 24-year-old kept seven clean sheets in eight games at one stage last term, but never quite won the supporters round after a handful of mistakes along the way.

Nevertheless, he returned for a season-long loan in the summer and has helped the Villans put themselves into the play-off places in the Championship heading into this international break, keeping seven clean sheets in 16 appearances for Steve Bruce's men.

A general view prior to the pre-season friendly match between Aston Villa and Watford at Villa Park on July 29, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

And it appears that the stopper continues to make a big impression on his manager, as the Express and Star reports that making his loan switch permanent is the first piece of business Villa want to address when the January window opens

It would certainly be a boost for Bruce if he was able to land Johnstone on a permanent basis as he appears to have built a good understanding with the back four during his second spell, and that continuity may help ensure that that they build on the promise that they have shown during the first few months of this season. 

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