Report: Aston Villa loanee Sam Johnstone tells friends he's West Brom-bound

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.

West Bromwich Albion are interested in Sam Johnstone, who is currently on loan with Championship side Aston Villa.

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, Sam Johnstone has told close friends that he is heading to West Brom, but the Baggies feel that they have bigger concerns to address before they target a move for the Aston Villa loanee.

Johnstone has enjoyed a promising spell since returning to Villa Park for a second loan stint in the summer, helping Steve Bruce's men put themselves on the cusp of the play-off places heading into 2018.

Steve Bruce manager of Aston Villa looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Aston Villa at iPro Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Derby, England.

But it appears that it may be possible that he may not be a Villans player for much longer, with the Express and Star reporting that West Brom want to sign the 24-year-old and Manchester United have the opportunity to recall him from his loan spell if they decide to sell him on.

Interestingly however, it appears that the Baggies' and Johnstone's respective views on how far along the path the deal is towards being completed are quite different.

Alan Pardew, Manager of WestBromwich Albion  gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield on December 13, 2017 in...

According to the Express and Star, West Brom are planning to prioritise signing a new striker and an attacking midfielder as the club look to improve their record in front of goal, having scored just 15 goals in 21 top flight games, and thus, they plan to put whatever funds they have available towards strengthening in those positions and put a move for a new goalkeeper on the back-burner for this window.

However, the Express and Star adds that Johnstone has told those close to him that he is heading to The Hawthorns - though the report does not state if he has told them when any move may take place.

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