Date: 21st December 2018 at 11:22am
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Dean Smith is nearing his second signing as Aston Villa manager, with Lovre Kalinic expected to be completed today after Het Laatste Nieuws reported that he’ll be left out of KAA Gent’s squad for Friday evening’s clash with Cercle Brugge. According to Sport Witness, the 28-year-old has undergone medical tests and all that is left is a club announcement confirming the transfer.

James Collins was Smith’s first acquisition since replacing Steve Bruce, but Kalinic looks to be the second player through the door for £5.4m – which could rise with bonuses. Smith has made signing a new goalkeeper a priority due to the inconsistency of Orjan Nyland this season. Kalinic is likely to replace him as No.1 given the outlay.

Nyland has made 20 Championship appearances this season, conceding 30 goals and keeping only five clean sheets. The Norwegian international has had a difficult time in England since his summer move from FC Ingolstadt and may benefit from some time out of the first-team while he looks to improve.

Villa brought in goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler from West Bromwich Albion to help with the development of their shot-stoppers, but it appears that Smith’s patience has run out.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

Dean Smith could select Aston Villa winger to start against Leeds United – opinion

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