By Phil Jennings
VILLA’S search for a new keeper looks to be ending with Tom Heaton close to a making move from Burnley.
Instead of splashing out £25million on England keeper Jack Butland – who now seems likely to be moving to Bournemouth – boss Dean Smith appears ready to sign Heaton, 33, in a £7million deal.
Villa were put off by Stoke City’s asking price for Butland and now appear to have settled on the more experienced Heaton – at a third of the expense.
It is a move that might have fans questioning the decision – but this was a keeper who looked set to sign for Villa in January before Lovre Kalinic’s less than impressive arrival.
Heaton also has three England caps to his name after a six year spell at Turf Moor.
But what this move has shown is that Smith is not ready to risk the owner’s money on a player like Butland who has not had the best of times at club level over the past two seasons.
After splashing out £45million on two players in recent weeks – Wesley Moraes and Tyrone Mings – it seems there some common sense behind Smith’s outlays. Either that or the Butland deal would have taken Smith over budget considering he has other targets in mind.
Villa have made contact with Burnley about Heaton according to Sky Sports News.
Sean Dyche’s side are reported to be willing to listen to offers for both Heaton and Joe Hart this summer.
Heaton had to spend almost a year on the sidelines when he dislocated his shoulder in September, 2017.
But after regaining his fitness, Heaton had a key role in helping Burnley avoid the drop last season. They went on an eight-game unbeaten run in the first eight league games in which Heaton played.