Manchester United’s path is clear to sign goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

Heaton has been released by Aston Villa, the club confirmed on their official website.

This was expected, and his contract officially expires on June 30.

Everton v Aston Villa - Premier League
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Heaton, 35, is expected to sign as a free agent with Manchester United on July 1.

The Mirror reported this week that Heaton has agreed a deal with United. This has not been confirmed, but The Telegraph  previously claimed he was close to doing so.

Heaton has responded to his Villa exit and said goodbye, thanking the club ahead of his next adventure, although he made no specific reference to his next move.

Full circle

Heaton left United in 2010 on a free transfer,  to the annoyance of Sir Alex Ferguson, and his potential return 11 years on brings his career full circle.

His arrival gives United extra depth in case either of David de Gea or Dean Henderson leave, as is likely.

Sergio Romero is set to depart when his contract expires, he’s already back in Argentina, while Lee Grant’s deal is also set to run out in June.

Heaton’s release from Villa does clear the path for United to announce his impending arrival of they chose to do so ahead of July.

The Mail reported that Heaton was approached by Liverpool but his preference was to return to United.

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