Smith makes move for Blues man

By Graham Hill

DEAN SMITH is set to make his first signing of the summer by raiding Birmingham City!

Smith is lining up a move to bring wideman Jota to Villa Park.

The Villa boss worked with the Spanish sideman at his former club Brenford and looks to reuniting in the Premier League.

The move would also see Gary Gardner heading in the opposite direction. The Express & Star reports that it would be the first transfer directly from Birmingham to Villa since 1983 when Alan Curbishley left St Andrew’s.

Chris Sutton exited Blues and joined Villa in 2006 but he was a free transfer.

Jota signed for Harry Redknapp at Birmingham two years ago in a deal worth £6million when he left Brentford.

Smith joined the Bees in 2015 and worked with Jota for 18 months. Clearly, the Villa boss sees plenty of talent in the squad he had at Griffin Park as he also plans a swoop for striker Neal Maupay.

The news comes on the day winger Albert Adomah left the club when Villa did not renew his contract.

The two rival clubs are understood to be working on a fee of £4million plus Gardner. It signals a busy few weeks for Villa with the start of the Premier League season just over two months away and some key spots still to be filled with players departing at the end of the season and a top flight place only confirmed four days ago.

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