According to The Athletic’s Gregg Evans, Tom Heaton will consider leaving Aston Villa for guaranteed first-team football elsewhere this summer.
The England international goalkeeper has not featured for the Midlands club since January 2020, with an ACL injury keeping him on the sidelines until last December.
Heaton has since lost his spot in manager Dean Smith’s starting XI to last summer’s arrival Emiliano Martinez, and he is not keen on playing second fiddle going forward.
The two-year deal Heaton was offered when he joined Villa from Burnley in the summer of 2019 expires at the end of this season and, while the club want to hand him an extension, an exit could be on the cards.
Despite his age, the 34-year-old will not be short of suitors should he decide to leave Villa Park this summer.
Heaton will listen to other offers before deciding on his future, and it will be interesting to see what decision he reaches in the coming weeks.
Having lost his place in the England national team, last making an appearance in 2017 and failing to make the last World Cup squad, the former Burnley star is set to miss out on this summer’s European Championship squad.
However, Heaton will still fancy his chances of breaking into Gareth Southgate’s team going forward, and he knows only regular playing time will guarantee that.
Newly-promoted sides in the Premier League next season could be keen to recruit his experience, and he still has the quality to be first-choice in a top-flight side.