Villa sign Jota as Gardner moves other way to Birmingham

Aston Villa have signed Jota from city rivals Birmingham for an undisclosed fee.

The 27-year-old Spanish attacker has signed a two-year contract with the Premier League newcomers. He is reunited at Villa Park with Dean Smith, who was also his manager at Brentford.

Meanwhile, Villa midfielder Gary Gardner has completed a permanent transfer in the opposite direction for an undisclosed fee.

Gardner, 26, spent last season on loan at Blues but he has now signed a three-year contract at St Andrew’s.

“I worked with Jota at Brentford. He’s a superb, talented player and Birmingham signed him as their record transfer,” Villa boss Smith told the club’s official website.

“I’m really happy to have him back working with us. He’s got great ability, great balance and a great eye for both goals and assists.”

Jota joined Brentford from Celta Vigo in 2014 and moved to Birmingham three years later. He made 32 appearances during his first season at Blues, scoring five goals.

Last season he played 40 times in the Championship – seven occasions as a substitute – and found the back of the net three times.

Gardner, who came through the academy at Villa and made his debut in December 2011, played many times with Jota last season for Blues, having started 39 Championship matches for Garry Monk’s side.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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