Lovre Kalinic: Aston Villa agree deal to sign Croatia goalkeeper in January

Lovre Kalinic.
Lovre Kalinic played for Croatia in the 2-1 Nations League defeat by England at Wembley in November

Championship side Aston Villa have agreed to sign Croatia goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

The 28-year-old will join Villa from Belgian top-flight side Gent when the transfer window opens on 1 January.

Kalinic becomes Villa boss Dean Smith's first signing since he took over in October for an undisclosed fee.

Smith said: "We are delighted to be signing someone of Lovre's experience and quality. He is an outstanding goalkeeper."

Kalinic was a member of the Croatia squad that finished runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, playing only in their final group game against Iceland.

The 6ft 7in keeper, capped 14 times, has become Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic's first-choice keeper since Danijel Subasic retired following the World Cup final defeat by France.

Current Villa number one Orjan Nyland - signed by previous boss Steve Bruce from German side FC Ingolstadt in the summer - was last month given a vote of confidence by Smith despite several nervy displays.

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