Aston Villa complete the signing of former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina for the rest of the season

John Percy
The Telegraph
Goalkeeper Pepe Reina spent nine years at Liverpool - Liverpool FC
Goalkeeper Pepe Reina spent nine years at Liverpool - Liverpool FC

Aston Villa have completed the signing of former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Reina is making a return to the Premier League at the age of 37 after Villa agreed a deal with AC Milan to sign him for the remainder of the season.

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The Spain international spent nine years at Liverpool, winning the FA Cup and League Cup, and is now joining Villa to boost their fight against relegation.

Dean Smith, the Villa head coach, has moved for the veteran after losing £8 million summer signing Tom Heaton for the season with a serious knee injury.

"We've managed to secure a player in Pepe who has a wealth of Premier League experience," said Dean Smith.

"At the start of the summer we were looking for an experienced goalkeeper and brought in Tom Heaton. Unfortunately, his injury has ruled him out for the rest of the season but Pepe fits our criteria not just because of his experience but also because of his leadership qualities."

Reina has been made available by the Serie A club and is due to have a medical at Villa's training ground on Monday. He will compete with Norway international Orjan Nyland for the No 1 spot at the west Midlands club.

Villa regard Reina as an experienced signing with leadership qualities and a winning mentality. He has one year remaining on his contract at Milan and is expected to return ahead of next season, with the future of Gianluigi Donnarumma uncertain.

Reina will undoubtedly have one eye on Villa's game at Anfield, when his new club face Liverpool on April 11.

Nyland will be given a chance to stake a claim to be Villa's first-choice goalkeeper this season, after impressing against Leicester in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

Villa have also signed Danny Drinkwater on loan from Chelsea and are looking at signing two strikers after losing £21 million-signing Wesley until next season.

 

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