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Aston Villa close in on new goalkeeper

Dean Smith is set to make his first signing as Aston Villa manager in the form of Croatian goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.

Kalinic currently plays for Belgian side Ghent, but talks about his transfer to Villa are so advanced that he is set to fly to Villa on Thursday for a medical ahead of a £7 million permanent deal.

The 28-year old has been on Villa’s radar for some time, and almost signed for the club three years ago, according to The Telegraph, when Remi Garde was the manager, but now looks finally set to move to the West Midlands.

Villa are looking for a new keeper because of doubts over current number one, German Orjan Nyland, and are hoping that Kalinic can provide the experience and maturity that they need as they prepare to mount a serious promotion challenge in the second part of the season.

However, even if the transfer is concluded in the next few days, Kalinic is not eligible to play for the club until the opening of the January transfer window.