Sam Johnstone: Steve Bruce dismisses West Brom move for Villa's on-loan Man Utd keeper

Sam Johnstone is just two appearances short of 50 for Aston Villa - all but one of which have been in the Championship
Sam Johnstone is just two appearances short of 50 for Aston Villa - all but one of which have been in the Championship

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has dismissed media speculation that on-loan Manchester United keeper Sam Johnstone might move to West Midlands rivals West Brom in the January window.

"We haven't heard that at all," Bruce told BBC WM following the New Year's Day 5-0 win at home to Bristol City.

"I spoke to Jose Mourinho two days ago and he never mentioned it."

Johnstone, 24, has conceded just 24 goals in 26 games this season, to help Villa stand fifth in the Championship,

"He not our player, of course, but we want him to stay. He's very, very happy here. Let's hope that's the end of it," continued Bruce.

Johnstone is in his second spell at Villa under former United favourite Bruce, having originally moved from Old Trafford 12 months ago, before renewing his deal on a season's loan in mid-July.

And his form has played a major part in Villa being just five points off an automatic promotion place in the wake of their biggest win for four-and-a-half years.

Bruce's faith in Villa's young ones

As for players coming into Villa Park during the window, ahead of this Saturday's FA Cup third round home date with League One side Peterborough United, Bruce admitted: "We've got one or two things bubbling, but we have nothing lined up.

"With loans, I don't think anything will really happen until the end of January."

He added: "It would be lovely now to be able to go and invest in one but obviously, with the situation we're in, we can't.

"And I've got young ones. The future of the club belongs to them. We've got some excellent young players.

"Callum O'Hare, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Andre Green, who will play on Saturday, and Keinan Davis, who is already in and around it. Throw them in. Why not?"

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