Manchester United

Man Utd on the verge of signing Tom Heaton as Sergio Romero nears exit

Ross Jackson
Tom Heaton is set to return to Man Utd
Tom Heaton is set to return to Man Utd / Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Manchester United are close to securing a deal to bring out-of-favour Aston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton back to the club.

The 35-year-old spent eight years at Old Trafford earlier in his career - five of which were as a professional having been promoted through the club's youth ranks in 2005 - though he failed to make a single appearance for United.

The closest he came to making his Red Devils debut was being named as an unused substitute by Sir Alex Ferguson, and after numerous loan moves he decided to part ways with the club in 2010.

However, it seems the shot-stopper is on the verge of a return to Old Trafford with The Telegraph reporting that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to bring the ageing goalkeeper back to the club this summer.

The news may come as a shock to some given United's raft of goalkeeping options, though with both Sergio Romero and Lee Grant expected to leave the club at the end of the season Solskjaer is eager to bolster his ranks.

Heaton's contract at Villa Park expires in the summer and he's now free to discuss his future with other clubs should he decide to move on. The 35-year-old would likely be third-choice should he opt for a move back to Old Trafford, though with the future of David de Gea also up in the air he may see an opportunity to be involved in the matchday squad.

Tom Heaton has been starved of regular football in recent years
Tom Heaton has been starved of regular football in recent years / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Heaton hasn't played regular football for well over a year after picking up a cruciate ligament injury at the start of 2020.

Villa brought in Emiliano Martinez in Heaton's absence and the England international has been unable to oust him from the number one spot since his return from injury.

The 35-year-old suffered a very similar plight during his time at Burnley, with Nick Pope impressing during Heaton's lengthy spell on the sidelines and the former United man ultimately forced to move on in search of first-team football.

Regular game time at Old Trafford seems very unlikely with youngster Dean Henderson in possession of the number one spot, though if the reports are to be believed then Heaton will return to the club this summer.