Aston Villa may have a goalkeeping problem unless they get promoted

Villa boss Steve Bruce reacts 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.

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce is said to have been scouting Eredivisie champion Brad Jones ahead of a potential return to the Championship this summer.

Sam Johnstone of Aston Villa celebrates during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Villa Park on March 10, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

On Aston Villa’s current form, it is hard to imagine Sam Johnstone playing for Steve Bruce next season.

The Sun have reported that Manchester United want £6.5 million if they are to sell the loaned out goalkeeper this summer – and an Aston Villa side restricted by Financial Fair Play regulations could only afford to pay a fee like that if they are promoted at the end of this season.

A place in the play-offs is almost guaranteed, but momentum is key as the old saying goes. And the 3-1 defeat to Norwich City on Saturday means Villa have won just one of their last five games, losing three.

So if Aston Villa are forced to stay in the Championship for a third straight season, they might need another goalkeeper. And it seems that Feyenoord’s veteran Australian Brad Jones would be one name in the frame to replace the impressive Johnstone.

Brad Jones of Feyenoord gives his team instructions during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Feyenoord and Shakhtar Donetsk at Feijenoord Stadion on October 17, 2017 in...

The Mirror claimed last month that Bruce had sent scouts to watch the former Liverpool and Middlesbrough man. But while Jones was excellent as Feyenoord won a first Eredivisie title since 1999 last season, his form has dipped massively this season.

And the 36-year-old continued a run of shaky form with a dreadful mistake against FC Twente at the weekend, trying and failing to pass round Adam Maher, who nabbed the ball and rolled it into the open goal.

Losing Johnstone and replacing him with an ageing, error-prone goalkeeper would not go down too well at Villa Park.

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