The 24-year-old shot-stopper is on a season-long loan at Villa Park but the chiefs at Old Trafford have an option to terminate that agreement in the January window. The recall clause is set to be activated with West Brom striking the deal.
Johnstone has impressed this season keeping nine clean sheets in 24 Championship games. He has spent his entire career at Manchester United and is currently in his tenth loan spell since graduating to the senior team in 2011.
Johnstone has never made a competitive appearance for the Red Devils and it is unlikely that he will get a chance at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho with David De Gea being the star keeper at the club.
West Brom’s deal will frustrate the Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce, who was hoping to seal a permanent transfer for Johnstone. “We will do everything in our power to get him here permanently,” he said.
“He is going to find it difficult at United to break through because of what they have got so we are hopeful.”
Former West Brom manager Tony Pulis was the first to spark an interest in Johnstone but current manager Alan Pardew has been given the green light to sign the keeper. Johnstone will have to battle with Ben Foster for a starting spot in the West Brom team.
Aston Villa’s most famous fan Prince William has ordered the club to seal the United man on a permanent deal.
“William is a big Villa fan and knew a lot,” Bruce said.
“He was pleading with me to get Sam Johnstone tied up and make his deal permanent. We’re pretty fortunate to have him as one of our big supporters.”